PORT ELIZABETH - The Zambia High Commission in Pretoria said on Thursday it was investigating a matter in which the church building of a Zambian pastor living in South Africa was vandalised.
The spokesperson for the Zambia High Commission, Naomi Nyawali, said the church premises of pastor Shadreck Pandala of Abundant Life - based in Burgerfort, Limpopo province - was wrecked by a group of local residents.
"Zambia's High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba, has expressed sadness with the development. He said the mission will investigate the incident to establish details leading to this attack," said Nyawali.
The high commissioner did, however, say he was "relieved" that pastor Pandala and his family were safe and still living in the same community.
"According to the information made available to the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, the church building had its window, door frames, roofing sheets and the [public address] system completely removed. Pastor Pandala, through his church, was in the process of buying the building, which was offered to him by a named mining company," said Nyawali.
The commission said it had been told that the matter was reported to the local police but no arrests had been made.
Last week, the South African government held a high-level meeting with several envoys representing fellow African countries in Pretoria following a spate of attacks on African immigrants. A task-force was consequently established to handle incidents suspected to be xenophobic.
On Thursday, the Zambia High Commission called on its citizens living in South Africa to "immediately report any attacks to the High Commission and the South African Police".
African News Agency (ANA)