Wits marches against violence

2012-08-23 22:16

Johannesburg - Staff and students at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) protested on Thursday against violence, including the Lonmin shooting and the killing of three children in Limpopo.

"This ongoing violence is a part of our national and collective shame and we should take this time to seriously reflect on the state of our society," Wits rector Yunnus Ballim said.

About 350 members of staff and students marched through Braamfontein as part of the protest.

"We should flinch with the same pain when violence is visited upon an individual or a group; a single child or a gathering of adults," Ballim said.

South Africa should look at the "underlying socio-economic and political causes" of violence, and said universities could play a role in providing understanding and solutions.

"Wits wishes to emphasise that these issues are not easy and that they are complex. Poor people are not violent. What we do know, however, is that inequality and violence often go together," Ballim said.

This was a subject to which intellectuals needed to turn their minds.

Human rights activist and advocate George Bizos also attended the march.

"Violence begets violence. It doesn't solve problems," he said.

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