We should live in love, bishop tells anti-xenophobia marchers

2015-04-23 17:08
(Jenni Evans, News24 )

(Jenni Evans, News24 )

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Joburg anti-xenophobia march gets underway

2015-04-23 13:26

A march against xenophobia is currently underway in Johannesburg. Watch to see footage from the ground.WATCH

Johannesburg - About 5 000 people sang and waved placards at a march against xenophobia that started from Pieter Roos Park in Hillbrow, home to many who started a new life in South Africa.

Eunice Manzini, chairperson of the Voices of the Poor Concerned Residents stepped away from a group of women singing the struggle song Senzeni na?.

The song was sung at funerals during apartheid and is usually associated with a catastrophe in society.

"Today we support the foreigners. We don't want people to think that black people kill each other," said Manzini.

'Incredible gift'

Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn called for a few moments of silence ahead of the march. "As we remember those who died in these attacks."

He said the murder and destruction of property and lives could not be accepted.

"So we say very clearly no to any form of violence..."

He thanked foreigners in South Africa for being an "incredible gift" to the country.

He said 15 million people going to bed hungry every day was treason.

"We will begin to fight against ourselves because we are embedded in violence and hatred in South Africa."

Verryn called for the abolition of borders in South Africa and for people to "live in love".

'Attack on ourselves'

Gauteng Premier David Makhura started a chant, "my brother is my brother. My sister is my sister”.

"What brings us together today for one moment is unity."

He said an attack on a foreign national was "an attack on ourselves”.

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils said: "We will not call them foreigners. They are our brothers and sisters."

Mao, a rumba musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was among the almost five thousand people being marshalled by long lines of police holding hand.

"Yes, I have had problems with xenophobia", he said.

The march is expected to end about 4km away at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg's CBD.

At least seven people have been killed and thousands displaced in a wave of xenophobic violence that has swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Four people were among over 100 arrested in connection with attacks in Johannesburg and Durban since the beginning of April.

Read more on:    david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  xenophobia

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