Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mugabe criticises migrant workers at SADC summit

30 April 2015, 09:03

Harare - Attacks on immigrants living in South Africa dominated a regional summit in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, with President Robert Mugabe criticising workers who seek new lives in Johannesburg and other South African cities.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting was meant to discuss industrial growth, but attention focused on recent xenophobic violence in Johannesburg and Durban in which at least seven people have been killed.

Thousands of immigrants in South Africa were displaced by the unrest this month as local mobs targeted workers from countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.

The presidents of all three of those countries - and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma - were among the 10 heads of state at the one-day event in Harare.

'Heaven on earth'

"Long ago, going to South Africa was like going to heaven on earth," Mugabe told reporters after the summit.

"The majority of our people go to work on farms. Then they run away from farms to start new lives in the cities. But why do that? People must get back to their own countries.

"Our people should not have the instinct of rushing into South Africa."

Also read: Tension looms at SADC summit in Zim over xenophobia

Mugabe said Zuma had briefed delegates on the attacks and measures taken to prevent them reoccurring.

"What we can do in the circumstances is not just to criticise but also to assist the government and people of South Africa," Mugabe said, striking a conciliatorily note after weeks of fractious regional relations.

'Root causes'

Zuma, who condemned the attacks after an outcry at home and abroad, this week risked stoking tensions further by questioning why migrants elsewhere in Africa felt they had to flee their own countries.

The subject of the summit - industrialisation - itself raised the issue of why so many citizens of neighbouring countries head for South Africa, the continent's most sophisticated economy.

Mugabe has been widely blamed for a collapse in Zimbabwe's economy which has sent millions of his people to seek work in South Africa.

In Johannesburg, Graca Machel, the widow of late anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, described the unrest as "a wake-up call to the whole of South Africa and to the whole of SADC."

Machel spoke at a memorial service for a Mozambican migrant murdered in an attack that was dramatically captured on camera.

"Until we address the root causes of all these problems... we shouldn't be surprised if other eruptions of this kind of thing happen," she said.

The Harare meeting was a follow-up to a summit in Victoria Falls last August which resolved to discourage the export of primary goods and develop industries to ensure southern Africa reaps maximum benefit from its resources.

"Despite the rich endowment of our natural resources, about 70% of our people live below the poverty line," Mugabe said, calling for the region to develop its own industries rather than exporting raw materials.

Many member countries of SADC, which seeks to promote economic, political and security cooperation, are rich in minerals.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...