Two Tanzanian men, 30-year-old Hassani Rajabu and 20-year-old Amiri Salamu narrowly escaped death after a Captain to a Chinese Ship and his crew threw them into the shark-infested Indian Ocean over fears that they would infect them with Coronavirus.
The Ship’s Captain and his crew have pleaded guilty for attempted murder as the two men Tanzanian nationals luckily escaped death.
According to the New York Post, the ship is reported to have arrived at the port of Durban, South Africa early last month when the crew comprising of seven people found out that there were two stowaways of African descent on board.
Apparently, the crew became wary of the men and asked them to wear their masks in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic for fear that they would be infected.
Upon refusing to do the same, the Tanzanian nationals were discriminated against and secluded in a separate room with food and water.
“The accused became wary of the men and asked them to wear face masks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The men refused to wear the face masks. They gave them food and water, and put them into a separate room, as they did not know their COVID-19 status and feared for the rest of the crew,” Natasha Kara, the spokesperson for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is quoted.
Daily Mail reports that the Ship’s crew assembled a raft from plywood and rope, gave the stowaways two bottles of drinking water and a life jacket and asked them to swim to the shores of the ocean.
Further, the Tanzania nationals are reported to have been exposed to all kinds of dangers as the ocean is infested with the tiger and bull sharks as well as hammerheads.
Luckily, Rajabu and Salamu were found washed out by the shores of Zinkwazi Beach near Durban three days later and were rushed to the hospital by locals where they were reported to have suffered hypothermia, thirst and hunger.
Consequently, the captain of the ship was arrested upon docking and the vessel impounded by the African Maritime Safety Agency.
In their plea bargain, the captain and his crew were fined over $5,000 (Ksh537,000) and $2,500 (Ksh268,000) respectively.
“The ship pulled away leaving them (stowaways) once they were aboard the raft. The accused admitted that their actions could have resulted in serious injury and even the loss of life.” reads part of the judgement.
A fortnight ago, social media users were up in arms following racism and racist behaviours that Africans in China were subjected to.
The videos and photos which were circulated on social media depicted Africans sleeping on the streets after being evicted from houses by Chinese landlords citing that they were spreading Coronavirus.
The reports angered netizens who took to Twitter to unleash their frustrations. For instance, some questioned how the Chinese nationals would evict foreigners yet COVID-19 originated from their country.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng however in his defence stated that the Africans who were being discriminated against had failed to adhere to government directives on social distancing after new cases believed to have been imported were reported on the Country’s mainland.