Mhambi has been redeployed.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Zimbabwe refugees under the spotlight

This morning on the BBC's Radio 4's Today program Mike Tomson started a 5 part series on South Africa for the station.

The first program is titled ZIMBABWEAN EXILES (Audio download). It paints a grim picture of thousands of refugees, unwanted in South Africa, risking life and limb and living in fear.

It tells of how they are resented by South Africans for causing crime, how they have been forced by locals to flee townships like Shoshanguve. And of police brutality: female police officers with crowbars and belts beating refugees in the Central Methodist church, Johannesburg.

An estimated three million refugees from Zimbabwe
are living in South Africa, pouring over the border at the rate of several thousand a day. There is widespread resentment about their arrival amongst many South Africans who blame them for rising crime and taking their jobs. On arriving at the border many of them are attacked by Zimbabwean gangsters. Robbery, rape and murder is common.

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