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Zimbabweans’ hopes high after Angolan refugees win right to remain in South Africa

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Zimbabweans

Cape Town – Zimbabweans living in South Africa had their hopes boosted this week after some former refugees, almost in the same predicament as them, won the right to remain in South Africa for at least the next four years.

Over 1 000 former Angolan refugees were this week granted the right by the Department of Home Affairs to live and work in South Africa for a period of four years, News24 reported

The former refugees, who arrived in South Africa during the 1990’s as civil war ravaged Angola, had been in danger of being deported when their status as refugees was revoked in 2013.

Their cause was taken up by refugee rights advocacy group the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, in partnership with the Legal Resource Centre, who argued they should be allowed to stay on in South Africa given their close business, family and social ties to the country.

On Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize announced that 1 364 of the 1 702 former refugees who had applied for residency under an exemption in the Immigration Act had been granted it, on condition they supplied biometric data.

The permanent residency statuses of 106 applicants with criminal records will be decided on at a later date on a case-by-case basis, said Mkhize.

About 230 former refugees still need to supply police clearance certificates.

Miranda Madikane, the director of the Scalabrini Centre, said she welcomed the decision.

“All parties involved have worked very hard on this case. We welcome the decision to grant these applicants rights of residency, especially in our national context where increasing numbers of migrants are falling into undocumented states.”

But Madikane said some former refugees were anxious about what would happen in 2021, when the four-year period that they had been granted permanent residency had expired.

Applicant Irene Boaventura, 26, a manager at an upscale Cape Town restaurant, said the outcome was a “dream, even if it’s only for four years”.

“The first thing I plan to do is open an investment account.”

Boaventura, who fled Angola 19 years ago with her mother and younger brother, said she hoped to provide the Department of Home Affairs with her biometric data as soon as next week.

The Zimbabweans situation has however been treated somehow differently as most are presumed to be economic refugees.

The economic situation in Zimbabwe has not improved, while the Zimbabwe Special permits expire at the end of 2017, bringing anxiety within the Zimbabwean community using the permit.

Mr Makumbira who is a truck driver based in Durban said, “Just like our fellow Angolans, we hope we will have a favourable outcome also come end of 2017, many of us have worked loyally for the benefit of the South African economy, paying taxes and making all necessary contributions”

“I don’t think Zimbabweans are a burden to the South African government but instead a productive lot” he added.

He went on to say that he personally had seen the economic boom facilitated by the labour Zimbabweans had provided in the road freight sector. He mentioned that when he started working as a truck driver the Durban Container Terminal was not busy,even closing at 18h00.

After the arrival of Zimbabweans and other fellow Africans in the sector, the DCT now opens 24/7 and only closes once on 25 December.

Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize has not pronounced yet on what will become of the over 200 000 Zimbabweans on the ZSP.

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NEWS

Watch: South Africans give notice to foreigners to leave SA before June 16

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With no sign of economic hardships disappearing in Zimbabwe, those who have escaped to South Africa are living in fear as locals have threatened to chase them if they don’t leave on their own accord.

Warnings of an operation to get South Africa rid of foreign nationals on the 16th of June continue to circulate.

Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing the ogarnisers of the operation dubbed, OPERATION DUDULA serving seven day notices to some foreign nationals to vacate the country.

OPERATION DUDULA
WE WILL BE REMOVING ALL ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS BY FORCE!!!
SIDUDULA INSIDE SHOPS AND HAWKERS
IF YOU ARE OPERATING ILLEGALLY YOU BETTER PACK AND GO BEFORE 16 JUNE 2021!!!

– reads the notice.

While the poster specifies that illegal foreigners will be targeted it however does not state that documented ones will be spared.

Such attacks, as occurred before, ended up targeting all immigrants regardless of their status.

Dudula which means “push” brings horrific and sad memories of xenophobic attacks that happened in the country in 2015. Many people were killed, some burnt alive, while some were left homeless as their homes were destroyed.

Just like it happened before, the South African Police Services (SAPS) ignored warnings of imminent attacks on immigrants which then led to the bloodshed.

Similarly, at this point, the SAPS or any government have not said anything about the threats on foreign citizens in their country.

In one of the videos circulating online, the pro Dudula Operation people can be heard blaming the loadshedding on illegal connections supposedly done by foreign nationals.

Local truck drivers have been at loggerheads with their foreign counterparts accusing them of stealing their jobs and accepting low wages and inhuman working conditions.

The situation has left the Zimbabwean and other foreign drivers prone to abuse even when they are legally in the country.

Members of a local drivers organisation, well known for violent attacks on drivers and trucks, have been targeting foreign drivers sjamboking them while recording videos which are then spread online.

They do this to humiliate their victims and instill fear on their colleagues.

No reports of arrest of the perpetrators have been made yet.

For the Zimbabweans and other foreigners in the country, it remains to be seen if they will still call South Africa home after the June 16 2021.

The date concides with South Africa’s youth day when they commemorate the heroics of the youths of 1976 who were massacred by the army after revolting against apartheid.

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CRIME AND COURTS

Fraudster arrested after swipping for $390 000 groceries

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A fraudster has been arrested after he swiped for groceries worth more than $398 000 at OK Supermarket in Hwange using a bank card that had been tampered with.

The man, Brian Pedzisa of Chitungwiza, was arrested on Thursday and is suspected to be among a gang of people who have been using cloned cards and other bank card related tactics to con various retail shops across the country.

Detectives on Thursday pounced on Pedzisa at the supermarket, moments after he was about to get out after swiping for groceries worth $396 384.

Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the incident and said police were now looking for two other people linked to the sca

“On 10 June 2021 a gang of three fraudsters tried to defraud OK Hwange Supermarket of groceries worth $396 384.

One of the fraudsters successfully used an electronic Visa card to make purchases but before he could make off he was arrested by a team of watchful detectives who were working on a tip-off. Upon being interviewed the suspect revealed that he was working with two other accomplices who are still at large,” said Insp Banda.

He said the gang had used the same strategy to defraud OK Mart Victoria Falls of an undisclosed amount in groceries. He appealed to members of the public to assist with information leading to their arrest.

“The two accomplices are on the run anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of these two criminals can report at the nearest police station,” said Insp Banda.

He called on shop owners to enhance security to avoid such incidents which were on the rise in the country.

“As police we would like to implore shop owners to enhance security at their premises through use of alarm systems and Closed Circuit Television. Retailers should examine electronic cards and do necessary verifications before processing of electronic transactions. For the record some fraudsters misrepresent themselves as humanitarian workers.”

According to sources privy to the incident, the gang would approach the supermarkets seeking a quotation for groceries pretending that the transaction wanted would be effected from a nostro account. Later one of the gang members would return to make purchases using a Visa card whose microchip would have been tampered with. Sunday News

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Accidents

Gutu Inter-Africa bus and Honda Fit accident victims all from same family

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GUTU- Police has announced names of the Gutu accident victims who were involved in a Honda Fit – Bus collision along the Gutu- Chivhu Highway yesterday.

The five were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with an Inter-Africa Bus near Matizha Business Centre in Gutu.

National Police Spokesperson Insp Paul Nyathi announced the names of the deceased family members who were travelling from Harare as Francis Chagweda (33)the driver, Mavis Chagweda (61), Lloyd Chagweda (31), Viola Chagweda (35) and Keresensia Mapaaona (28).

According to a family member, Oscar Chagweda the now deceased were travelling to Chiwara in Gutu for a family function when the tragedy happened.

An eyewitness told I ZIM that the accident occured after the Inter-Africa bus tried to overtake another bus. “It then encroached onto the lane of the oncoming Honda fit which swerved to avoid collision,” said the witness.

The Honda fit reportedly swerved off the road but the bus did the same resulting in the head on collision.

Only one person from the car survived the horific accident and was taken to Matizha clinic before she was transferred to Gutu Rural Hospital for treatment.

During the covid-19 induced Lockdown, government banned private kombis allowing only those registered under ZUPCO to operate resulting in little non-commercial vehicles overloading passengers.

Yesterday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Health and Child Care Minister announced another Covid -19 regulations which gave a waiver to public transport operators.

However, the transport sector is also now dominated by “mushikashika” vehicles some of which include Toyota Wish and Honda fit vehicles who have the capacity to carry 4 or 5 passengers , however some of these vehicles end up carrying as many as nine passengers.

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