WATCH | Capetonians stage vigil outside Parliament in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

  • A group of people staged a vigil outside Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
  • Participants were asked to leave flowers, messages and posters, and not to gather in groups in accordance with Covid-19 protocols.
  • Protests against police brutality have erupted across the United States after George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer on 25 May.

A group of Capetonians on Wednesday joined a peaceful "walk-by" vigil outside Parliament in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

Attendees were requested not to gather, or hang around, and to wear masks at all times - in accordance with Covid-19 lockdown regulations. 

The organiser requested to be named only as Protest As Praxis, the handle of her Instagram account.

"I wanted people to grieve and I wanted people to acknowledge and process the violence that is happening around them," she told News24.

While she hosted the event in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter protests currently happening in the United States, Protest As Praxis said the vigil was also for South Africans who had been killed by police and army personnel, especially during the national lockdown.

"The vigil was to grieve for Collins Khoza and Robyn Montsumi, who died in the Mowbray police station, for the refugees who are not getting aid during the pandemic, and for the people who are being evicted, even though it is illegal to be evicted during this time," she told News24.

Khosa allegedly died at the hands of SANDF members outside his home in Alexandra, Johannesburg. Other South Africans, like Petrus Miggels, Adane Emmanuel and Sibusiso Amos, also lost their lives as a result of alleged police brutality. 

For one young man, the vigil wasn't about George Floyd, but rather a protest against institutionalised racism.

"I'm here because we don't know when the next murder is going to happen. I'm here because my parents, grandparents and I can all share collective incidences of institutionalised racism. It's not about being beaten in the street, it's about being followed in the stores because I'm suspected of being a thief," the man, who asked not to be named, told News24.

"The fact that I am made fun of for speaking a language that is not mine. The fact that I have to give this interview right now in English because if I speak in Swahili I will not be understood. These are the things I'm protesting. It is the institution, it is the system and not the people at hand," he said. 

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