The migrants say there were attacks on Sunday and Monday by members of Operation Dúdula, a radical left-wing movement that wants to expel illegal and undocumented immigrants from the country.
Mozambican emigrants in South Africa are being subjected to xenophobic attacks in the markets where they have some stalls, according to some of them residents of Soweto, near Johannesburg.
“They advertised our products that were on the stands, at the same time that they insulted us saying that we have to return to our countries,” Artur Chissano, an emigrant, told Rádio Moçambique.
The raids were carried out on Sunday and Monday by members of Operation Dudula, a radical left-wing South African citizen movement that advocates for the expulsion of illegal and undocumented immigrants from the country, associating them with a lack of job opportunities.
Dudula means “back off” in the South African Zulu language.
Several Mozambican emigrants say they are racking up losses.
The attackers reportedly show up whenever police patrols are absent and, in addition to causing damage, make threats with the promise of returning in the following days.
“They promised to come back here on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Anyone nearby could be shot,” said a vendor in the same area, asking the Mozambican authorities for support.
South Africa, the largest economy in the region, is home to more than two million Mozambicans who work in mines, agricultural fields and informal trade, however, xenophobic attacks are frequent, associated with peaks of economic crisis.
In addition to the attacks, the actions of the authorities through identification and expulsion campaigns have also been the subject of criticism.
The Mozambique National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) considered the treatment given to Mozambican illegal immigrants deplorable, criticizing the “disproportionality” in the actions of State agents.
“We do not question South Africa’s sovereign right to enforce the country’s immigration laws, but we demand that it be done with the necessary dignity,” declared the president of the CNDH, Luís Bitone, a year ago.