Harare (New Ziana) – At least 14 suspects have been arrested and were due in court on Tuesday in connection with the murder of Elvis Nyathi (43), a Zimbabwean man who was brutally killed by a xenophobic mob in Diepsloot, South Africa this month, media reports from that country have said.
The reports however did not name the suspects, whose actions have been widely condemned from both within and outside South Africa.
The Zimbabwe government accorded Nyathi a state assisted funeral and he was buried in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, on Saturday.
Nyathi was beaten, stoned and set alight a mere 20 meters from his home by a vigilante group which was moving around the township demanding to see the identity documents of residents, in a bid to flush out foreigners who they accuse of taking their jobs and carrying out criminal activities.
According to a neighbour Prince Mkhwebo, Nyathi, who allegedly did not have proper documentation, hid from the mob until they found him.
“They said he was running away so he must have a gun or something. They found him, started beating him and took him away to kill him,” Mkhwebo said.
Fearing for her life, Nyathi’s wife fled their home.
His family has said it wanted justice to prevail in the matter.
“As the Nyathi and Ndlovu families, we are traumatised by the way Elvis died. We will try to move on but we will not forget. No person deserves to die the way he was killed. We hope his killers will be punished,” Nyathi’s cousin Mpathisi Ndlovu said at a funeral service at the weekend.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke strongly against the callous murder of Nyathi, describing it as immoral, racist and criminal.
In a statement, President Ramaphosa said Nyathi’s death at the hands of fellow black South Africans was worse than what the apartheid regime did.
Nyathi, who worked as a gardener in South Africa, left behind a wife and four children.