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Kenyan killed in South Africa's xenophobic attack buried

COAST
By Tobias Chanji and Philip Mwakio | May 10th 2015 | 2 min read
The late Hassan Stima, who was killed in xenophobic attacks in South Africa. [PHOTO: TOBIAS CHANJI/STANDARD

Kwale, Kenya: The first known Kenyan killed in South Africa’s xenophobic rampage was buried in Mwembe Ngoma village, Msambweni, in Kwale County, Saturday.

Hassan Stima, a former casual labourer in Johannesburg, is said to have been attacked in his house on April 17 in Johannesburg, where he lived with an unidentified woman.

Reports indicate he was attacked by a mob for living with the woman.

“We are told he was attacked in his house at around 8am in the morning. He was living with a South African woman but she was not introduced to us as his wife,” said his aunt Mishy Stima.

A wave of xenophobic attacks against foreign African nationals hit the cities of Durban and Johannesburg last month. Foreign nationals were accused of taking away jobs and businesses from natives.

Last week, the director of diaspora affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Washinton Oloo, denied knowledge of Hassan’s death and claimed all Kenyans in South Africa are safe. But he disclosed that a Kenyan civil servant was found dead in a hotel recently.

Hassan’s decomposed remains arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Thursday night and was ferried to Kwale by road, arriving yesterday morning. The deceased’s impoverished family had waited for weeks for the body of the 33-year-old.

Hassan’s sister Mwanatumu Juma narrated the tribulations the family went through to bring the body home without government assistance amid reports the deceased lived in South Africa as an undocumented resident. “We spent the Sh63,000 Hassan had saved. The rest came from donations,” she said.

“His entire body was fine but the head was badly damaged,” said Mohamed Stima, the deceased’s father.

Mr Stima said Kenyans living in South Africa called to inform him that his son had been hit in the head and  admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with internal bleeding.

Hassan went into a coma and died four days later. Family members say the late Hassan went to South Africa in 2006.

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