Foreigners cheer anti-xenophobia marchers

2015-04-23 17:53
(Ahmed Areff, News24)

(Ahmed Areff, 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 - Hundreds of people on Thursday hung off the balcony of Ethiopian restaurant, Bersufkad, in the CBD, cheering the anti-xenophobia marchers. 

Beaming, they shouted in Amharic to their friends to take pictures of themselves and some rushed towards the march shouting "join, join, join".

Adults and children waved Ethiopian flags out of the old Medical Building opposite the Joburg Mall. The Support Marikana Campaign group stopped and danced with some of the Ethiopian men. 

Kadir Yasin, a former journalist from Ethiopia, said he came to South Africa via Holland and had expected better hospitality. 

He thought President Jacob Zuma's response to xenophobia was slow at first. Yasin was grateful to the governments of Malawi, Nigeria, and Ethiopia for taking a public stance so quickly. 

"But now, it is okay," he said of Zuma's calls for calm over the past week. 

Languages from all over Africa could be heard in the crowd.

Some of the marchers had flags from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe draped over their shoulders.

A large group of Chinese people sang the South African national anthem over and over again as they walked down Jeppe Street towards Mary Fitzgerald Square. 

One Zimbabwean man turned his anti-xenophobia poster into a long pointy hat and jogged down the road. 

School girls sang in high, shrill voices as they shuffled along, holding each other's waists.

People on the pavements stood slightly off the curb to avoid the stinking pools of water and litter as the protesters passed. 

The march was against the recent xenophobic attacks which have left seven people dead and thousands of foreigners displaced over the past three weeks. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  xenophobia

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