Malawians are among foreign nationals in South Africa whose businesses are the target in the latest attacks on foreigners in the rainbow nation.
A series of the attacks were reported earlier this week.
Latest attacks have been on Nigerians in the South African capital, Pretoria. Five businesses and a church were reportedly set ablaze over the past week, according to the Africanews.com
South Africans claim that foreign nationals had turned the neighbourhood into a drug haven. There were also reports of looting of shops belonging to foreign nationals in the area.
They say foreigners have illegally taken over most properties and turned them into drug and prostitution dens.
There has lately been an influx of Malawians leaving for South Africa to seek greener pastures in the rain bow nation.
Hundreds of Malawians take the long journey to South Africa without proper travel documents a development that put them in fear of deportation once caught by the authorities.
In February last year, Chrissie Kaponda, Malawian high commissioner to South Africa had said there was really an influx of Malawians heading to South Africa.
By then more than 1 000 illegal Malawian immigrants are currently being held at the Lindela Repatriation Centre, South Africa’s only detention centre for undocumented migrants, and their numbers are increasing in what is seen as a reflection of deepening economic hardship in their home country.
Meanwhile the Malawi government has asked Malawians in the rainbow nation to consider coming back home.
“It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that its citizens are protected and it is the responsibility of every person to ensure his or her own safety. We however urge those who can manage to come back home’’ local media reports quote Rejoice Shumba, spokesperson for the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as having said.
In the previous wave of attacks in 2015, the Malawi government blew up K30 million which was used to hire six (6) buses from South Africa to be used to ferry people who voluntarily want to be repatriated to Malawi.
At the moment, the Nigerian government has called on the African Union (AU) to intervene on the matter.