by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CRISIS In Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) has called on regional leaders to intervene in the problems in Zimbabwe, in an effort to address the issue of anti-migrant sentiment in neighbouring South Africa.
This follows the xenophobic killing of a Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi (43) in Diepsloot in the neighbouring country last week.
Zimbabweans make up the highest proportion of foreign nationals in South Africa after they fled years of economic and political problems in their country.
They are now competing for declining economic opportunities with South Africans and other nationals at a time unemployment is at its highest.
CZC offered some advice to the governments of South Africa, Zimbabwe as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which it believes have a role in ending the current xenophobic sentiment in South Africa.
“The regional body must take a clear stand against the erosion of constitutionalism and the rule of law in Zimbabwe,” CZC said of SADC.
South Africa has been advised to uphold their important obligations towards protecting refugees and asylum seekers under international law.
CZC said South Africa must put in place long-term strategies to reduce inequality in South Africa.
“This will go a long way in addressing the toxic xenophobic feelings that the region can no longer ignore.”
Zimbabwe has been urged to address the socio-economic and political factors that are forcing Zimbabweans to cross neighboring countries.
“This is the surest way of ensuring that immigration does not end up overwhelming local populations leading to deadly events such as the one currently unfolding in South Africa,” CZC stated.
– CAJ News