South Africans living in Mozambique are being attacked following the criminal and xenophobic murder of innocent African foreigners in South Africa.
Xenophobic violence has broken out in Mozambique, forcing South Africans to leave the neighbouring country in a hurry, while trucks exporting goods have been grounded.
Truck driver John Mashiloane, who works for Ngululu Carriers told a News24 correspondent that he was forced to return to South Africa after the truck he was driving was stoned a short distance from the border town of Ressano Garcia.
"I’m back in South Africa, we have parked our trucks in Komatipoort. When we went into Mozambique in the morning, we saw that traffic was clear and thought it was fine, but just 4km into Mozambique near the Muamba Toll Gate, we found a mob of about 300 people in bakkies who started pelting our trucks with stones and telling us that we are killing their brothers and sisters so we deserve to die too," said Mashiloane.
Ngululu’s operational manager, Jay Luvhani, said that their trucking business had come to a standstill.
“Our employees are hiding at various police stations. We had to call back our drivers who were just getting into Mozambique. Some trucks have been pelted with stones, but there's not much damage; we just fear for their lives.
“In the early hours of the day, our drivers in the harbour were attacked and police had to intervene and they have since secured our trucks. We are looking forward to the situation being calm. But as we speak, it's not business as usual in Mozambique due to the retaliation of the Mozambicans over the xenophobic attacks in South Africa,” Luvhani said.
Mozambican national Sabelo Benito, who works at the Fish Market in Maputo, said he and his colleagues had received an SMS saying they should not travel to Mbombela because it was too dangerous.
“We got this SMS from some people around; it’s circulating and they are saying it’s very dangerous to travel to Mbombela as South Africans are killing our brothers and sisters. They said we must also retaliate and hurt them. This is not good for us here because our visitors are now scared. Some have since said they are going back to South Africa,” said Benito.
Border gates closed
Constable Lawrence Ntuli, who is stationed at the Lebombo border post, said the gate was closed for some time in the morning following the incidents outside Ressano Garcia, but they had since received confirmation from Mozambican police and motorists that the roads had been cleared.
“We just got information now from the police that the situation in Mozambique is fine and motorists are now travelling to Mozambique. The situation looks calm at the moment and traffic is flowing as normal. We cannot easily say it's all fine, but we are getting reports on the situation,” said Ntuli.
The Mozambican consul attached to Limpopo and Mpumalanga, Esperanca Cuna, said things were "okay" as far as they were concerned.
“Our people travelling to Nelspruit [Mbombela] are safe [according to] the police of South Africa, but we have not yet heard of things in Mozambique. We hope all will be fine soon," he said.
He rejected reports of an SMS inciting Mozambican's to retaliate against South Africans.
"The issue of an SMS which has been going around is a rumour; we don’t have the SMS. What is said there is lies,” said Cuna.
In a Facebook video, South African employees in Inhambane, Mozambique, are seen being asked to leave by a peaceful group of Mozambicans and colleagues.