Durban - Malawians who have been left homeless after being robbed and chased out of their homes in Burnwood informal settlement, Sydenham, last Tuesday, will either be reintegrated into the communities they fled from or sent back to Malawi, the authorities have said.
The group has been living at Sherwood Park displacement centre, next to Musjid-us-Saliheen mosque, since being booted out of the settlement.
The nationals were housed in two marquees and slept on portable mattresses.
Their belongings were neatly packed next to where they slept when the Daily News visited on Sunday.
They had been provided with water tanks and portable toilets.
The tents on Sunday were emptier as many had returned to the Burnwood informal settlement or to their home country.
Salah Chinguwo, 36, who is eight months pregnant, said she wanted to return home to Malawi because she did not want any trouble. The only thing holding her back was money.
“I came here (to South Africa) to start a business of selling clothes, but now I am here (at the displacement centre),” said Chinguwo, who has two other children in Malawi.
Chinguwo said she had lived at the informal settlement for eight months and was shocked when, early on Tuesday morning, she heard a knock on the door and was told to go outside - and that the mob wanted to take things from her home. But they left empty-handed because she did not have any valuables.
“The tents are very hot and there is no place for the women to bath,” she said about living at the displacement centre.
Ernest Machuwira, 27, who has a one-month-old baby, said he was at work when his wife, Gloria Bomda, 23, fled from the informal settlement with their son.
“In the morning when I got back, I found that my wife and son were not there. All my stuff was gone: home theatre system, DVDs, bed and food,” Machuwira said.
He said he found his family at the police station and Bomda told him that a mob had entered their home and chased her out, so she took the baby and ran.
“It’s bad,” he said. “Now my son is not feeding and he is not sleeping well.”
On Friday, Mayor Zandile Gumede and acting Malawi high commissioner Gloria Bamusi said they were working tirelessly to integrate the nationals back into the community.
International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Police Minister Bheki Cele were expected to meet the heads of the diplomatic missions representing African countries in South Africa in Pretoria today to discuss the attacks on foreigners in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.