‘No place for racists’

2016-01-27 06:00
THE President of ANC Youth League Collen Maine reading a memorandum of grievances to the marchers. Photo: Emile Hendricks

THE President of ANC Youth League Collen Maine reading a memorandum of grievances to the marchers. Photo: Emile Hendricks

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HUNDREDS of people took to the streets of Bloemfontein to march against racism on Friday, 22 January.

The peaceful march, which started at the old Ramkraal prison and ended at Standard Bank in Brandwag, was organised by the ANC Youth League in the province following a number of recent racial incidents.

Chanting slogans that echoed through the streets of the Free State capital, waving signs that read “Racism Must Be Criminalised”, “Unite Against All Forms of Racism” – and thrusting their clenched fists in the air, hundreds of youths marched to the Bloemfontein High Court, Treasury Department, Department of Police and Standard Bank to hand over their memorandums of grievances.

At their first stop at the Bloemfontein High Court, the marchers demanded that all cases of racism must be treated with priority and that those cases that have been struck off the roll must be reviewed.

“South Africa belongs to those who live in it, blacks and whites. There is no place for racists in our country.

“We won’t tolerate any form of racism,” said Collen Maine, the president of the ANC Youth League.

In their memorandum handed over to the MEC for the Treasury, Elzabe Rockman, the marchers demanded that the treasury remove the provincial account from Standard Bank if the bank’s economist Chris Hart is not fired, following the racist tweet he had made recently.

The marchers also demanded Standard Bank to fire Hart by midday on Monday (25/01).

However, Anton Nicolaisen, the general manager of Standard Bank in Brandwag, said certain human resource procedures should be followed before any decision would be taken.

Hart has been suspended pending an inquiry into the events of his commentary on Twitter on Sunday, 3 January.

A memorandum for the high court was received by Lindile Kolosa, provincial head of the NPA.Lt.Gen. Simon Mpembe, the Free State’s police commissioner, received the memorandum on behalf of the Department of Police.

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