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Xenophobia victims return home

Another 10 volunteer repatriates fleeing South African xenophobia arrived in the country through Beitbridge Border Post yesterday amid reports that 300 had jumped ship.

Officials who received the repatriates aboard a 15-seater minibus said information received indicates that hundreds of repatriates had changed their minds and left the makeshift camp in Johannesburg, leading to its closure.

A few hundred Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals fled their homes and sought refuge in camps after xenophobic violence rocked South Africa from September 2 this year.

Nigeria and Zimbabwe are known to have come to the rescue of their citizens and offered to return them home.

The 10 repatriates were part of more than 300 Zimbabweans accommodated at the Johannesburg makeshift camp.

“Those who refused to be repatriated were told to go where they think they would be safe. The camp was then closed on Tuesday around 11am,” a government official at Beitbridge said yesterday.

The 10 who arrived yesterday were headed for Birchenough Bridge, Masvingo and others as far afield as Mutoko in Mashonaland East province.

Last week, the initial batch of 76 repatriates arrived together with the body of Isaac Sithole who was slain by South Africans as he arrived home from work.

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