Tensions are rising between Zimbabweans and locals in Zandspruit. A Zimbabwean was murdered three weeks ago in the squatter camp north of Joburg.
Now four men have been bust for the killing. Yesterday Zimbabweans living there contacted the People's Paper to tell us: We are living in fear. We don't feel safe anymore!
At the same time, locals told us: "We want these people to leave our country. The area has in the past been notorious for friction between the two groups. The horrific killing on 30 October was revealed by Daily Sun on Tuesday. We reported that a group of men hunting for a Zimbabwean man they accused of being a criminal had set his brother alight instead – and then abused the body.
Honeydew police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Karen Jacobs said: "The four men we arrested are members of the South African National Civic Organisation. We are planning to make more arrests. It does not matter if someone belongs to a political party or an organisation, murder is murder and we will act," said Jacobs.
Yesterday our news crew visited the squatter camp to meet some of the Zimbabweans. None wished to be identified. A 29-year-old man told us: "I no longer feel safe here. I feel that I could die any time. I came here for a better life, and I do piece jobs like gardening. Police don't protect us. They only come when they are called by the councillor. We get attacked at night by South Africans. They don't want us here."
Another Zimbabwean said: "On Wednesday night, about 9am, I heard the sound of people screaming and marching. I was scared to go outside for fear of getting attacked. I only came here six months ago, but I have experienced lots of ill-treatment from my brothers in South Africa. Life in Zim is bad and I came here to be with my fellow Africans."
Daily Sun asked locals about the marching and shouting. One man at a car wash confirmed it. He said: "Last night we marched and burnt tyres as a protest. We want these people to leave our country."
Senzo Ndaba was prepared to give us his name. He said they treated Zimbabweans like their own brothers and sisters but said: "They steal from us... We as the community are very angry because these Zimbabweans are killing our people and also robbing them. We are not free in our own land because of them," said Ndaba.
A man who only wanted to be known as Modise said he was about to close his spaza on the main road on Wednesday when he was told to shut the shop and join the protest. "I was told to join the protest to have Zimbabweans removed from the area and I did. This is nothing new. This has been going on for years. We want the foreigners out of our area," said another man who didn't want to be named.