South African woman forced to live in bushes because her dad was from Mozambique

Everson Luhanga

Nolitha Mazolo is a South African citizen born and bred, though her father originally came from Mozambique.

Last year she was evicted from her house in Alex by local residents who called her a foreigner.

Since then she has been forced to live in a cardboard shack in the bushes.

The house she was evicted from is an RDP house that her father acquired legally.

It was left to her and her siblings by her father who lived in Johannesburg for five decades before he died in 2009.

Her mother is from Bushbuckridge, in Mpumalanga.

Nolitha, who is unemployed, has no other home than South Africa, but is treated like a second class citizen because of her dad’s Mozambican roots.

Just like Nolitha, many foreigners or people with roots in other countries live in fear of being a target of attacks in South Africa.

A tough report from Human Rights Watch this week advocated that those found guilty of persecuting foreigners should face the full weight of the law.

Human Rights Watch found that law enforcement officers often operate in discriminatory and abusive ways against non-nationals.

The group said xenophobia remained widespread in South Africa despite a government action plan rolled out in May 2019 to combat “intolerance”.

In many parts of the country, service delivery protests often end in the looting, vandalism, and attacks on businesses and livelihoods of people living in South Africa but originally from other parts of the continent.

In the report, HRW said foreigners are scapegoated by people who are themselves economically insecure.

South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world.