POLITICAL parties in southern Africa yesterday roundly condemned the brutal murder of Zimbabwean national Elvis Nyathi in South Africa, with opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa describing his killing as an attack on all human dignity.
Nyathi, originally from Chief Malaba area in Matobo district, was stoned to death and set ablaze in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, by a vigilante group targeting “illegal” immigrants on Wednesday night.
His gruesome murder sparked fears of another round of Afrophobia attacks that have visited foreign nationals in that country.
“The brutal murder of Nyathi is a terrible assault on all human dignity, raising the urgent need and necessity of collective leadership to resolve all issues affecting the region. The sanctity of life is debased when violence and Afrophobia become normalised in politics and society,” Chamisa tweeted yesterday.
South Africa’s OneSA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against the murder.
“Those who killed Nyathi must be arrested. We should not normalise murder as a tool for getting government attention … Take action Ramaphosa. Attacking a poor gardener is not going to resolve the issues of crime and the issues of immigration,” Maimane said.
Nyathi was a gardener and, according to his family, he had just arrived from work before he fell prey to the vigilante unit.
Action South Africa said: “The murder of Nyathi in Diepsloot is a stain on our national conscience. No person deserves to die because of their perceived immigration status. Those responsible must face the full might of the law for their heinous acts … We must never scapegoat foreign nationals for the failures of the South African government.”
Zambia’s ruling United Party for National Development spokesperson Joseph Kalimbwe said: “The sight and videos of a fellow African, Elvis Nyathi, being set alight and burnt to death in South Africa yesterday disturbs the conscience of us all in Sadc. While he was still fighting for his life, more petrol was poured into his body. Let’s change, Africa has enough bad people.”
But leader of Operation Dudula, a vigilante group leading attacks against foreign nationals, Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini said he was not shedding any tears as he accused foreigners of committing heinous crimes.
“I can’t cry for this one Zimbabwean guy because my tears ran out crying for the seven South Africans that were killed by Zimbabweans. It’s disgusting how this one death is enjoying more media, political attention and sympathy over the seven South African deaths,” Dlamini