By-Over 200 foreign nationals are in hiding after the burning to death of three Zimbabweans in Chavani Village outside Elim by South Africans on Saturday.
According to reports by GroundUp, the three Zimbabweans had been accused of stealing cables and solar panels.
Following the attack, about 200 immigrants fled their homes into the bush or other villages. Some were forced out of their houses by vigilante groups.
Makhado police spokesperson Sergeant Tshifhiwa Irene Radzilani said the three Zimbabweans “were burnt beyond recognition”.
Police have opened murder cases but no arrests have been made.
Malume Chinabwa, from the Kagisano (seTswana for living together harmoniously) programme, run by the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in Elim and Musina said:
Since Saturday more than 200 foreigners – Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and Malawians – have been calling me for assistance.
During the day, they try to visit townships where they are not known, in search of food but spend the night in bushes.
Elim resident Francis Thiba told GroundUp that at about 6 PM on Saturday a group of youths, including women, came to his residence.
He said his wife and three children were ordered to leave and they fled to the bush. Police later rescued them the same day.
Thiba was beaten on the head and in the face before he was rescued by Waterval police at about 7 PM who took him to Elim hospital.
He was discharged on Tuesday and joined his family at Waterval police station, where they had sheltered for three days.
Thiba, who has been living in Shirley village, Elim, for over ten years, has been in South Africa since 2000.
He said they are prepared to leave for Zimbabwe, but he has no money for transport.