Only death awaits you in SA, Mphoko tells pupils.

By Auxilia Katongomara
VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko last week told pupils at a school in Bubi District to focus on their studies and shun the habit of travelling to South Africa illegally, saying there was nothing for them but death in that country.

VP Mphoko, Zimbabwe’s former ambassador to South Africa, made the remarks as he donated 300 books worth $7,000 to Majiji High School.

“I’ve come to talk to the children. I want you to know one thing. Don’t think there’s life for you across the border. In these books is where your life is, there’s nothing for you there (South Africa).
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko officially opens a classroom block at Majiji High School in Bubi District. Looking on behind him is the school head Fisani Dube and MP for the area Clifford Sibanda.
“Concentrate on your education and not crossing to South Africa illegally,” said the Vice President, who arrived earlier in the morning from Harare before embarking on the road trip to Bubi.

The Vice President said he was speaking from experience as he had come across cases of young boys and girls who left school and ended up being exploited to become sex slaves and homosexuals.

VP Mphoko showed the pupils pictures of people who were attacked in South Africa during xenophobic violence. One of the pictures was that of a foreigner who was burnt after a tyre was put around his neck and set alight.

He had another picture of amagumaguma (people who help others skip the border) carrying a child after the mother fled the police while crossing the Limpopo River illegally into the neighbouring country.

“What do you think this umagumaguma did to this child after the mother had fled? Obviously he threw the child into the water. You pay omalayitsha between R1,000 to R1,500 to cross illegally.

“Those who don’t have the money, if you’re a girl, omalayitsha — upon reaching South Africa — will detain you at their house and tell their friends that they’ve a young girl.

“They’ll hire you to their friends and by the time they recoup their money, you would have fallen sick and come back home in a coffin carrying flowers on your chest. The boys on the other hand would be hired to homosexuals.

“There’s no better place than home. Don’t rush to South Africa, there’s death there.”

VP Mphoko toured the school and officially opened an A-Level classroom block.

Majiji High School is the third school in Bubi district that has received books from the Vice President and the sixth in Matabeleland North province.

VP Mphoko has 11 tonnes of books that he will be distributing to schools around the country. He will soon visit Matabeleland South and Bulawayo.

Majiji High School head, Fisani Dube, said the school faced a number of challenges among them water problems and classroom shortages due to overwhelming enrolment.

“Honourable Vice President, we face a number of challenges particularly in the rainy season as some pupils are forced to stay for weeks or a month from school as River Mbembesi would be flooded and they cannot cross. We’re appealing for assistance to construct a bridge because this affects pupils’ performance,” said Dube.

The school with an enrolment of 513 pupils recorded a 100 percent pass rate in last year’s Advanced Level examinations.

VP Mphoko donated a personalised diary to Lower Sixth pupil Qaphela Nyathi, who was honoured as the best pupil at the school.

Speaking at the same occasion, Bubi legislator Clifford Sibanda thanked the VP for the gesture. The Chronicle

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