THE bodies of at least 1 418 Zimbabweans were repatriated from South Africa in the past six months, Zimbabwean officials have reportedly said.
The state media quoted Zimbabwe’s consul-general to South Africa, Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, as saying Zimbabweans living in South Africa often died of various ailments, especially during winter.
“You will note that most of the people die in winter and the major causes are diseases such as broncho pneumonia, Hepatitis B, Pulmonary Hepatitis, HIV and Aids and other Retro Viral diseases.”
Mukonoweshuro however said the number of Zimbabweans dying in South Africa could be higher as some failed to get repatriated and were buried in SA without the consulate’s knowledge.
A report by a local weekly said in March that an estimated 400 bodies of Zimbabweans were repatriated from SA every month.
The report, however, said most of the deaths were a result of murder, adding that “horror” stories were told of Zimbabweans dying in gruesome attacks in South Africa.
Although Zimbabweans also died in many parts of the Diaspora, their deaths south of the Limpopo River were way more than in other countries, the report said.