Maputo — The government of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane has denied that there have been any demonstrations of workers at the Mozambican installations of the South African petro-chemical giant Sasol, in retaliation against the riots in South Africa against foreign citizens, including Mozambicans.
Images have appeared on social media claiming to show retaliation against South Africans working at Sasol in the Inhambane district of Inhassoro. Sasol operates the natural gas treatment plant at Temane in Inhassoro, and the 600 kilometre gas pipeline from Temane to Secunda in South Africa.
But the Inhambane provincial director of mineral resources and energy, Salomao Mujui, warned that people should not be taken in by such images, since they are three years old. "These are videos that were taped in 2016", said Mujui, cited by Radio Mozambique, "They are being used to create agitation among the population".
Mujui said that currently there are no problems between Mozambicans and foreign workers at the Sasol installations.
He recognised that, when people saw these images on social media, they might wrongly assume that they were depicting events happening now. Worse still, they might imitate the supposed retaliation.
"Right now, there are no demonstrations at Sasol", said Mujui. "We urge people not to use these images to stir up trouble among the workers and among the population in general".
He added that a few days ago the Inhambane provincial governor, Daniel Chapo, visited Sasol and found there were no demonstrations there. "So we urge people to stay calm", insisted Mujui.
The wave of anti-foreigner riots in South Africa has so far claimed at least 10 lives. No Mozambicans have yet been killed, but according to figures released by the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), at least 544 Mozambicans have lost their homes. Of these, 397 have expressed a desire to return to Mozambique.