xenophobic attacks 28-06-11.jpgThe International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UNHCR have expressed concern at the involvement of community leaders in the flaring up of xenophobic attacks in Seshego, Mpumalanga Province in South Africa.

Reports emanating from the affected area say that the IOM and the UNHCR dispatched a team to Seshego last week to investigate the incident of xenophobia-motivated violence in which a Zimbabwean, Godfrey Sibanda was stoned to death.

Thousands other Zimbabweans are said to have escaped into the bush following the incident.

The councillor and 11 others have been arrested and they appeared in court where they were fined ZAR5 000 apiece.

Uncle of the deceased, Jabulani Marowa said the family is making frantic efforts to mobilise funds to repartriate Godfrey Sibanda’s body.

He alleged that despite a promise to assist in the repatriation by the South African police, it is now reneging on the promise.  

Zimbabwe’s Consul-General, Cde Godfrey Magwenzi, who visited the UNHCR and IOM offices in Polokwane Province on Tuesday, said no information has been found out to trace the alleged thousands who are said to have disappeared into the bush following the Seshego xenophobic attacks.

He said the recent resurgence of xenophobia in the Mpumalanga Province took place after a meeting held by an ANC councilor with the police seeking permission to drive out Zimbabweans from their area.

Some 28 people have been displaced and are living in a hall at Seshego Police Station.