Decapitated Zim woman not victim of xenophobic violence – SA police

Johannesburg – Gauteng police said on Monday that they did not think that a Zimbabwean woman found decapitated in Killarney last week was a victim of xenophobic violence.

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Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini told News24 that the woman’s body was found on Tuesday “near where the homeless people were staying” in Killarney.

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Dlamini said: “We were informed by them there was a body in a black plastic bag. She was decapitated.”

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“She has been identified as a Zimbabwean woman.”

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“We don’t think it was related to the xenophobic violence. It looked like a planned killing – she was killed elsewhere, then her body was put in the plastic bag and dumped,” Dlamini said, confirming that police were investigating the motive for the woman’s murder.

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Dlamini did not name the victim.

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But state media in Zimbabwe on Monday quoted members of a family in Harare who said their relative had been found decapitated in the Houghton area last week. She was named as Naome Garusa, aged 41.

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Garusa’s family told the Herald newspaper that they believed she was indeed a victim of the xenophobic violence that has swept parts of Durban and Johannesburg for more than a week.

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Relatives in South Africa told Garusa’s relatives that she had been attacked by “marauding xenophobic elements, who targeted her as she came from her workplace”, the Herald reported.

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Garusa is believed to have been staying in South Africa for more than 12 years. Her family say she was there legally.

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South African police have confirmed the deaths of seven people in the violence so far.

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But Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa Isaac Moyo, who is currently in Durban, says the death toll is a “grey area”.

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He told the official Chronicle newspaper on Monday that only one Zimbabwean victim, a man known as Mhofu, had been confirmed killed. Officials are trying to repatriate his body.

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Press reports in Zimbabwe reported earlier last week that another two Zimbabweans, a woman and a child, had been killed in the violence.

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Zimbabwe has started busing home hundreds of citizens in the wake of the attacks.

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The first contingent of 407 Zimbabweans, including nearly 100 children, is due to arrive at the Beitbridge border post on Monday.

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Another 400 will leave soon.