Zuma: Pray for peace, friendship

2015-04-18 22:00
(Giordano Stolley, News24)

(Giordano Stolley, News24)

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Durban - President Jacob Zuma has called on religious leaders to pray for peace and friendship following the recent spate of violent attacks against foreign nationals over the past few weeks.

In a statement released on Saturday night, Zuma stated his belief that the majority of South Africans believe in peace, while the actions of only a minority have contributed to ‘sporadic’ incidents of violence against foreign nationals recently.

“We humbly request our religious leaders nationwide to send out a message of peace and friendship to all our people,” the statement read.

“South Africans have lived in peace with foreign nationals for years.

“We know that the majority of our people believe in human rights and peace and that they respect the dignity of all who live in our country.”

‘South African way’

The president expressed his desire that the recent wave of xenophobic attacks be overcome through dialogue.

“They know that where there are concerns and differences, these should be resolved the South African way, through dialogue, and not through violence and intimidation.

“We will work with all peace loving South Africans and foreign nationals to promote peaceful co-existence, solidarity and friendship,’’ said the President.

President Zuma cancelled a visit to Indonesia on Saturday in order to visit displaced foreign national in Chatsworth, as well as the community of Umlazi, both in Durban.

Cheered and jeered

He was cheered and jeered as he attempted to calm xenophobic tensions during a quick whirlwind visit to the refugee camp in Chatsworth, News24's Giordano Stolley reported on Saturday.

“We are not saying to you go away as government. It is yourselves who are saying that you need to be helped to go home,” Zuma told the crowd.

When he arrived, a large crowd quickly gathered and started chanting: “Too late. We go home.”

“We are calling on all South Africans to participate in helping to make the life better for you [the refugees],” he continued.

 “It is not every South African who is saying you must go away. Not at all. It is a very small number of people who say so.”

Zuma said that the government would address the violence against foreigners.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  durban  |  xenophobia

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