Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Not in Our Name!"

 Thousands of people took to the streets of Johannesburg in The People's March Against Xenophobia – a solidarity march that was organised to condemn the xenophobic in South Africa. About 30,000 people participated in the march. The crowd was chanting "We want peace", as they walked down the streets.

Several NGO groups were present at the march, including the African Diaspora Forum, the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), SECTION27, the Right2Know campaign, the South African Human Rights Council and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) attended the march.

Meanwhile, at another earlier rally, King Goodwill Zwelithini of the 10 million strong Zulu community, insisted he was not behind a wave of violence against migrant workers he had compared a month before to head lice. “Let us pop our head lice,” he said. “We must remove ticks and place them outside in the sun.” His words had been twisted by the media, he said. If he had really given the order for his legions of followers to attack, “this country would be ashes.”

“This man is laying the basis for a serious contestation that South Africa is going to have,” said Nomboniso Gasa, an expert in traditional law at the University of Cape Town, “He is pushing the boundaries. He has started with the most vulnerable — those who always suffer prejudice — but he's also saying to government and everybody else who is opposed to his absolute authority as a Zulu king: 'You watch it.’”  

His declaration at the Durban soccer stadium that he has the power to unleash unrest on an even greater scale caused new alarm.

“For the ANC to control the province, whether they like it or not, they have to work with the king,” said Velaphi Mkhize, a Zulu culture expert at the University of KZN in Durban. “The ANC knows that the king's voice matters the most in this province.”

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