PRETORIA - Malawians affected by the xenophobic attacks and displaced from their homes in Durban have opted to return to their home country despite pleas for them to stay, the South African government said on Monday.
"Three hundred Malawians were displaced as a consequence of the events at the weekend, where two South Africans died - one of them was shot. Three hundred Malawians were displaced ... and a lot of them have now decided they want to go back home. We are in the process of making sure they return home peacefully," SA deputy International Relations Minister Luwellyn Landers said as he addressed media in Pretoria.
"The minister [international relations and cooperation minister Lindiwe Sisulu] this morning pleaded with Malawi's ambassador to South Africa, to please take a message to her nationals that they are welcome to stay here. We don't want to see them leave," Landers said.
"Whilst we understand that what happened is regrettable, it would be much better for all of us if they remained [in South Africa]."
Attacks on foreign nationals flared up in the KwaZulu-Natal province after a shop owner, reportedly of Pakistani origin, allegedly shot at two locals who were raiding his shop. One of the South Africans is said to have died from the shooting.