Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have expressed shock over the death of Malawian businesswoman Flora Chathyoka Sinsamala at South African entry border post of Beitbridge.
Chathyoka was stabbed to death by unknown thugs on the wee hours of Sunday at Beitbridge while trying to offload her belongings for checkup as ordered by the law enforcers.
In a joint statement released on Wednesday signed by Robert Mkwezalamba of Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), Bright Kampaundi of FND, Ms Emily Banda of PROWNET and Michael Kalima of CAYO said Chathyokaâs death is a wakeup call to the government of Malawi and that of South Africa on security of travellers.
According to the grouping, Chathyokaâs death clearly shows that the South African government put little attention to foreigners entering the country.
âOne tends to wonder how the South African government treats the security of all people entering the country and safety of goods they bring to the nation to the extent that they are not concerned how the same is brought forward for security checks or declaration as it is in such incidence that smuggling takes place hence the more reason the police or law enforcers need to be present at all points where goods are to be loaded or reï¿¾loaded. We take it that the South African security authorities failed us in this particular case.
âWe demand that the South African Government addresses Malawians and all travelling to South Africa on their security and the incident which resulted in the loss of Floraâs life,â read in part the statement.
The CSOs have also questioned the decision by Malawi government to advising South African government to bar any Malawian who travels without having ZAR3,000, saying this exposes Malawians to attacks and abductions since the perpetrators are convinced that any Malawian travelling has cash on him.
âWe once more demand an immediate reversal of this agreement and allow that Malawians travel without monetary obligations or conditions for their entry into South Africa just as any other citizen from SADC,â added the statement.
Meanwhile Flora Chathyoka will be laid to rest on Friday in the capital Lilongwe.