More Malawians have been killed in xenophobic attacks than what is being announced officially, a senior government official has disclosed.
On Monday government spokesman Kondwani Nakhumwa announced that two Malawians were killed in the violence and that 3,200 people have left destitute following a wave of violence against foreigners in the port city of Durban and Johannesburg.
But a senior government official said that the numbers maybe high.
“What South Africa and the Malawian embassy in Pretoria are telling us officially is not the whole truth because many others are unaccounted for…as you know many of our nationals are not registered with the Malawian consulate and that is the major challenge to track them down,” said a senior government official who asked for anonymity.
Malawi has set aside K195 million to repatriate its citizens sending 60 buses more for the first rescue from camps in South Africa.
Malawian President Peter Mutharika, currently in the USA, has been in talks with President Jacob Zuma and SADC chairman Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to find ways of ending xenophobia in the regions biggest economy.
On Monday civil society groups in the capital Lilongwe took to the streets and presented a petition to South African envoy Cassandra Mbuyane – Mokone.
“Xenophobia is the new apartheid and it threaten to undo the gains thats South Africa has made …We the people of Malawi stand in solidarity with all Africans to condemn in the strongest terms the current resurgence of xenophobia…” read the petition to South African government.
The South Africans have been targeting Malawians, Somalians, Nigerians, Mozambicans and Ethiopians among many other foreigners.
Last night South African government announced that they are deploying the army in the troubled areas to restore calm