SA Expats march in London
SA Expats gathered in London earlier today.

As South Africans in SA have marched in cities around the country to protest against xenophobia and the violence in general that troubles their beloved land, those abroad are following suit to lend their support.

South African expats march in the UAE
South African expats in the UAE, standing united for SA

Yesterday South Africans marched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and today they gathered in London, and more is planned.

For South Africans abroad the violence back home is close to their hearts – because they have friends and family in SA who they worry about; and because for many (but not all) violent crime is the reason they left…or the reason they have not yet returned to a land they love so much.

Table Mountain
Sandri, Brisbane – “If there were no violence in SA, I would go back in a heartbeat.”

In a discussion on SAPeople’s Facebook page yesterday Larry Damons said he moved to Australia “after being hijacked in front of my house”, Sian Powell said she moved to Dubai “after being a victim in an armed robbery and struggling to sleep for months as I didn’t feel safe. My first night in Dubai was the first night I slept well.”

Sandri Cronje-Swan in Brisbane said “if there were no violence in SA, I would go back in a heartbeat”.   Lynn Brännström, who has lived in London, Amsterdam and now Stockholm wrote “I often cry for SA but I don’t feel it’s safe for my kids. If they took a tough stance on crime I’d love to move back…”

Nombulelo Behling, who has lived in Germany for six years now, said “I really miss home like nobody’s business…but here there’s no crime. Am safe.”

And because they love South Africa – its people, its mountains, its thunderstorms, its climate, its wildlife, its humour, its oceans, its sunrises and sunsets…and everything in between – most South African expats want nothing more for SA than a peaceful, safe nation for everyone who lives there.

Messages from South Africans Abroad
South African expats campaigned recently against xenophobia.

And so – while the world is watching after the recent xenophobic attacks – South Africans overseas are marching to gain awareness and support for their friends and family back home who they feel have lived for too long with the level of violent crime that occurs on a daily basis in SA…from wealthy surburbs to farms and poverty-stricken townships.

Yesterday a march was held in Al Ain in the UAE to remember #JaydePanayiotou (the young Port Elizabeth teacher who was killed this week) and take a stand against the violence in SA, sending a message that enough is enough.

Former PE resident Carol-Ann Poisat‎, who now lives in Al Ain, says “some of the expat South African community in Al Ain and parts of the UAE walked to stand united for South Africa against the crime, violence, xenophobia, vandalism and bad leadership skills by our government.

“I encourage expats from other parts of the globe to have a walk to support our fellow Saffas back in SA.”

SA Expats march in London
SA Expats gathered in London earlier today. See video below.

This morning South Africans gathered at Trafalgar Square in London in memory of #Jade and all victims of violence in South Africa. (See video below).

And another larger march is planned for early June. The organisers hope to create awareness by reporting the march to international news media, world leaders and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The feedback from South Africans in SA, on the planned march’s FB page, has been positive with one saying “please let the world know that there is a great deal of suffering in South Africa. We are all living in fear, locking ourselves and our families up at night. All in our own little safe houses. We don’t need to live like this. This is not the post-apartheid dream we all wished for.”

Another said “It is time for all South Africans to unite, and pull the country together.”

Watch Video – South Africans United in London for Victims of SA Violence

If you are unable to watch the video below – please click here to watch it on FB.

Amazing turn out.

Posted by Jeremy Ferrant on Saturday, April 25, 2015