Zimbabwean refugees abused in South Africa

By |3 September 2009|

They escaped with their lives from a country in collapse. They fled often with nothing. They came to the region’s richest and most powerful nation looking for protection. However, they have been welcomed with abuse, discrimination and a blindness to their plight. Approximately 3,000 Zimbabwean men, women, children and babies are trapped in dire conditions behind a wire perimeter camp in Musina, a border town in South Africa. The refugee camp on Musina’s Showgrounds is the size of a football field and contains neither adequate shelter, sanitation or protection for the vulnerable Zimbabweans. They have fled a country where famine threatens half the population, a cholera epidemic goes unchecked, and violence and repression are widespread. The Government of South Africa regards them as economic migrants however, meaning they can be denied asylum. “The situation for Zimbabwean refugees in Musina is horrendous,” said Sr Aine Hughes of Caritas South Africa (known nationally as [...]