Migrants 'abused in Musina'

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

The International Organisation on Migration has found that 50 percent of undocumented migrants have experienced rape and robbery in Musina.

The abuse has raised a fear about their long-term survival amid economic desperation and rampant human trafficking.

This leaves migrants at higher risk as perpetrators use their insecurity and fear to exploit and abuse them.

"Migrants, particularly undocumented ones, are vulnerable to various kinds of abuse, and the majority of the victims do not report the cases to the police, either because of fear of arrest or they simply do not know where to seek assistance," said Yuki Kushimiro of IOM.

"Though we had anecdotal evidence, women and children are forced to sell their bodies for their masters in return for a plate of food and little cash to secure their stay in South Africa."

The study was conducted in Musina since South Africa started issuing asylum status to Zimbabweans.

Kushimiro said the main perpetrators were the Mguma-Mguma - a gang of armed men who operate along the border to assist Zimbabweans cross into South Africa.