Forum for National Development (FND) which is a human rights defenders organization has asked government to investigate reports that South Africa based Malawian Pastor Hastings Salanje was abducted at his church God’s Chapel International in Randburg , South Africa.
In a statement signed by Chairperson for the organisation Bright Kampaundi, they are demanding government’s intervention and Malawi High Commission in South Africa because Pastor Salanje holds a significant position of influence and prominence in Malawi as such any harm inflicted upon him directly affects the psyche of the entire nation, leading to heightened concern and anxiety.
Kampaundi added that that an injury to one Malawian is an injury to all hence their demand for unequivocal return of Salanje from his abductors wherever he is being kept back to his family.
“The attack on Salanje comes at a time we are still coming to terms with the persecution that Prophet Shepherd Bushiri faced in the South Africa. As most people might be aware, FND and other human rights groups have been demanding justice for Shepherd Bushiri who was facing persecution, extortion and assassination attempts at the hands of South African government officials.
“The abduction of Salanje is reminiscent of our strong held opinion that Malawians are not safe in South Africa especially when you are seemingly well to do. We see similarities to what Salanje is going through to the fate that Bushiri would have had if he had not decided to run away from South Africa and seek help in his own country,Malawi,” he explained.
He went on to say that Lilongwe must work with their Pretoria counterparts to ensure safe return of Pastor Salanje.
He said that as citizens it is their duty to take responsibility to demand safe return of Salanje and assurance of protection of Malawians citizens residing in South Africa.
He then said that they will be petitioning the South African High Commission to Malawi as well as the Malawi Foreign Affairs for safe return of Pastor Salanje.