Baby Xeno born from ashes of South Africa’s racist violence

May 23rd, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by admin  

Johannesburg, May 23 (DPA) Zimbabweans are famous for the eye-popping names they give their children. To the ranks of the Tears, Lovemores, Cowboys and Carry-Ons now comes the unfortunately-named Baby Xeno, the Johannesburg-based Star newspaper reported Friday.

Xeno, who was born to Zimbabwean national Diana Sakala two days ago, takes his name from the xenophobic attacks that have claimed at least 43 lives in South Africa since May 11.

A heavily pregnant Diana and her husband Clement, who came to South Africa four years ago in search of work, were chased from their home in a squatter camp in eastern Johannesburg last weekend by a mob blaming migrants for their hardships.

“It’s like my world has fallen apart in a few minutes. They burnt our shacks, looted everything we had, including the clothes we had bought for the baby we were expecting,” Sakala told the Star.

On choosing her baby’s name, the 30-year-old mother said: “When he grows up I don’t want him to be like these people who rob, rape and kill others under the pretext of xenophobia.”

The Sakalas, whom the paper said were sheltering in a storeroom, are among the around 25,000 mostly African migrants that have been displaced by the attacks.

Over the past few days the violence has spread to Durban, Cape Town and other parts of the country.

Zimbabweans constitute the biggest immigrant group in South Africa. Between one to three million Zimbabweans are estimated to have fled their country’s economic and political troubles to Africa’s biggest economy, where most are living illegally.

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