Foreigners face Nobody’s anger

2011-05-28 18:11

Residents of the rural Limpopo village of Nobody – still seething over the brutal murders of three girls – have told foreign nationals to leave the area or face the consequences.

Foreign nationals have been told to leave by today.

The community’s anger follows the arrest of three Zimbabwean nationals last week in connection with the disappearance and murders of Francina Seipati Mampshika, her cousin Refilwe and their close friend Kedibone Ledwaba.

Doughlas Maitrajera (30), Ernest Maibeki (26) and Angelina Moyo (26) appeared before the Mankweng Magistrates Court this week on charges of murder.

Their bail application was postponed to June 9 to allow court officials time to secure a Shona-speaking interpreter.

They were remanded in custody.

Said Zimbawean Kenny Ndebele: “They gave us seven days to leave, but did not say what will happen if we do not comply. I am scared.”

The resolution by residents of Nobody Ga-Mothiba village outside Polokwane comes two years after foreigners were attacked, leaving six in hospital, at nearby Westernburg township.

Locals armed with hammers and iron bars accused them of stealing their jobs and even wives Kgosi Christopher Mothiba, headman of Nobody Ga-Mothiba village, said the residents were very serious.

“The community say the police told them they have arrested three people, two men and a woman, who speak with foreign accents.

“Residents then resolved at a tribal meeting that all foreigners must leave. The community took the decision and there is nothing I can do about it,” said Mothiba.

The decision will be reviewed after the case is finalised, Mothiba added, but for now, foreigners have to pack and go.

Police said they were monitoring the situation.

The church has stepped in to try to calm tensions.

Bishop Blessing Mphela, of the Hlogi Missions Outreach, said they had been trying to convince residents to allow police to do their work.

“We are not happy with the resolution. One, already this is a court case and if the community discusses the matter and takes such a resolution, it implies that the police are not doing their work.

“Two, it is unlawful in our country that the community should take the law into their own hands.

“Three, if it is true that foreigners are involved in crime, as church leaders we do not think they are working alone.

“It means there are also locals ­involved,” said Mphela.

Jimmy Joinal, an Indian businessmen, said he was taking the threat seriously.

“We do not know what is going to happen. We are concerned about our safety. Some of my Zimbabwean customers have started to move away,” he said.

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