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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 13:30 GMT
Zimbabwean dies queuing for visa
Loaf of bread in empty trolley
Many Zimbabweans head to South Africa to escape economic misery
A Zimbabwean job-seeker who collapsed and died in Cape Town last week, is said to have succumbed to starvation.

Adonis Musati, 23, was a police officer in Chimanimani in eastern Zimbabwe, but the economic crisis led him to South Africa to try to support his family.

He had spent a month at the Home Affairs Refugee Centre, trying to get a work permit, reportedly with nothing to eat, sleeping in a cardboard box.

His family said they had learned of Adonis's death on the internet.

The BBC's Southern Africa correspondent Adam Mynott says Adonis Musati left Zimbabwe and crossed into South Africa more than a month ago.

It is a disgrace that someone should die of hunger in one of South Africa's richest cities
Refugee rights spokesman Braam Hanekom

Like tens of thousands of his countrymen he had hoped to find work, but was unable to get a permit.

On Friday 2 November, he collapsed on a traffic island near the offices of South Africa's home affairs refugee centre in Cape Town and was found dead.

Braam Hanekom of Passop, a refugee rights organisation, told our reporter that Adonis appeared to have died of hunger, having not eaten for four days.

But fellow Zimbabweans who met him outside the refugee centre told the South African news website IOL that he had not eaten for two weeks.

"It is a disgrace that someone should die of hunger in one of South Africa's richest cities," said Mr Hanekom.

He said there are 25,000 Zimbabweans like Adonis Musati in Cape Town looking for work and food.

Up to 3m Zimbabweans have arrived in South Africa to escape the economic crisis in their own country.

Family members living in Sasolburg in the Free State, are now in Cape Town to identify his body and to make funeral arrangements.

His cousin Ivy Dhliwayo said the family had not heard of Mr Musati's death from the Zimbabwean consulate, nor from the South African government.

"(His twin brother) Adbell read a story on the internet, and that is how the whole family found out," she said.

Passop says it is funding the relatives' expenses and will try to get Musati's body back home for burial.



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