General News of Saturday, 25 February 2017
Ghanaians living in South Africa claim they are being attacked and beaten mercilessly by South African nationals in the wake of the xenophobic attack that has once again reared its ugly head in that country.
According to them, their lives are in real danger as some Ghanaians in Sunnyside, have been hospitalized after being pounded.
The situation is in sharp contrast with the assertions by the Government of Ghana.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway on Friday 24th Feb. told Parliament that no Ghanaian has yet been affected in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“Our checks in the country indicated that no Ghanaian national or their businesses have been affected in the recent attacks. Our embassy in Pretoria and the foreign ministry will continue to monitor the situation and update the country appropriately,” she said.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchway however urged Ghanaians in South Africa to stay indoors in order to ensure their safety.
But speaking to Kasapa News Friday evening, Ghanaians in South Africa called for government’s intervention immediately to save their lives since the situation is not under control as the Foreign Affairs Minister claims.
“She [Foreign Affairs Minister] is sitting in Ghana, and I’m here in South Africa telling you what is happening to us. Our fellow Ghanaians in Mamelodi have been beaten, we’ve been to the hospital to visit them,” Richard said.
Another Ghanaian lady said: “I went out hurriedly to buy food stuffs two days ago. I was beaten and nearly killed, my family and I are now sought refuge in the house of a Ghanaian woman I first settled with when I came to South Africa, we’re all indoors. Our fellow Ghanaians in Sunnyside are in trouble…they are being beaten. Just this evening we’ve been told that one of our Ghanaian brothers has been beaten with wooden planks while he was out to buy food, so the family we’ve sought refuge has just driven to go and ascertain his condition. So it is not true that no Ghanaian has been attacked as put out by the government in Ghana.”
Earlier this month, South Africans accusing foreigners of bringing drugs and prostitution to their neighborhood torched the homes of African migrants. They also accused the foreigners of taking over their jobs.
Johannesburg’s mayor accompanied police on a subsequent raid of the area, apparently making good on an election promise to rid the city of crime and people who are here “illegally.”
That sentiment spread to Pretoria, where foreign-owned shops were looted overnight on Feb. 20. Now, a group of “concerned” South African citizens are reportedly planning a march on Feb. 24 with xenophobic undertones that have alarmed the African Diaspora Forum.
“We write to you so that when South Africa experiences a repeat of the 2008 xenophobic violence which left at least 62 people dead, you will not be surprised,” the forum said in a letter, urging South Africa’s president to act.
The 2008 wave of attacks left thousands displaced, 342 immigrant-owned shops looted and 213 burned down. The violence and hate was captured with the image of a Mozambican man burned alive.