Zimbabweans could face more violence

DISPLACED Zimbabweans living in a camp in De Doorns could face further violence if they are reintegrated into that community, a study has found.

DISPLACED Zimbabweans living in a camp in De Doorns could face further violence if they are reintegrated into that community, a study has found.

The research, carried out by the University of the Witwatersrand's Forced Migration Studies Programme (FMSP), also says labour brokers might have played a role in the outbursts of xenophobia in the country.

About 3000 Zimbabweans live in the camp in De Doorns, Western Cape.

The research covered violence, labour and the displacement of Zimbabwean people.

"Premature 'reintegration' represents serious security risks for the displaced, including the risk of being killed", FMSP researcher Jean Pierre Misago said.

Though seven Zimbabweans were burnt to death in De Doorns in February, last month's xenophobic attack on the Zimbabwean nationals was the first large scale displacement of foreign nationals since the xenophobic violence of May 2008.

Local officials want to close the camp where the displaced Zimbabweans are now living, but have done little to encourage reintegration.

"Official engagement with South African residents who took part in or supported the violence has been limited to holding communal prayers and making moral appeals to accept the displaced back," Misago said.

He also points a finger at Mpumelelo "Poyi" Lubisi and ANC Breede Valley municipality mayor Charles Ntsomi.

At meetings addressed by Ntsomi and Lubisi locals "expressed their intention to chase Zimbabweans away".

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