Anti-xenophobia march in Joburg

By Drum Digital
23 April 2015

Gauteng premier David Makhura and Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau are on Thursday expected to join a march in the city against xenophobic violence.

It is intended to demonstrate “the overwhelming rejection of these heinous acts”, the organisers, who include several civil society organisations and trade unions, said in a statement.

During a similar march held in Durban last Thursday, police clashed with a group of people trying to disrupt the event. An Economic Freedom Fighters member was shot in the leg in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on Monday when party leader Julius Malema arrived to call for an end to the violence against foreigners.

The violence began in townships around Durban about three weeks ago and spread to Johannesburg. At least seven people have been killed and thousands displaced.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been blamed by some for starting the violence when he told supporters in Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal, in March that foreigners should pack their bags and leave. He has denied saying this. Speaking in Durban on Monday he blamed a third force and the media for contributing to the violence.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the army would be sent to hotspots around the country, including Alexandra, where Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole was stabbed to death on a street on Saturday morning.

Doctors Without Borders said in a statement on Wednesday that about 5000 displaced foreigners were being accommodated in the Durban area in three camps, in Isipingo, Chatsworth and Phoenix.


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