South Africans Rally to Support Victims of #Xenophobia
South Africans are uniting in a stand against #xenophobia after recent attacks on foreign nationals in KwaZulu Natal have left five dead and thousands displaced. As headlines have spread around the world, South Africans have reacted with shock, outrage…and action. And it’s not just by sharing positive and unifying messages like “I’m an African before […]
South Africans are uniting in a stand against #xenophobia after recent attacks on foreign nationals in KwaZulu Natal have left five dead and thousands displaced.
As headlines have spread around the world, South Africans have reacted with shock, outrage…and action. And it’s not just by sharing positive and unifying messages like “I’m an African before I’m a South African” on social media.
This morning locals in Durban will march in peaceful solidarity against xenophobia. Two writers have inspired many by taking action and organising a #PeaceBus to Durban for Joburg youth to join the march. Various venues are collecting donations to help foreigners who have had to flee their township homes. And Design Indaba has invited South African illustrators to create images that address the harm xenophobia causes society. Further abroad, a petition has been set up for global leaders to put pressure on South Africa’s President Zuma. (Please see details below on all the above.)
The government called yesterday for “an end to the bloodshed in eThekwini”. In a statement KwaZulu Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu called on community leaders to help restore peace and reintegrate the displaced foreign nationals back to their communities.
“Once again, we implore all concerned to cease these violent attacks. Let us work together to find solutions of peaceful coexistence and put an end to these senseless criminal activities,” said Mchunu.
He said 74 arrests have been made to date for murder, public violence, business robbery, theft and possession of firearms and ammunition.
Mayor James Nxumalo warned of the far-reaching negative economic implications these attacks could have, unravelling all the progress Durban has made recently to position itself as a destination of choice for foreign investors (and tourists). He urged people to not take the law into their own hands and to report criminals to the police.
A multi-disciplinary high-level government task team, led by Mchunu, has been deployed by SA President Jacob Zuma to address the xenophobic violence by visiting all xenophobia hotspots in the province.
The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Riah Phiyega, has made available additional resources to KwaZulu-Natal to restore peace and stability.
Peace March for a United Africa
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo are leading a peace march today – Thursday 16 April – to say no to xenophobia. The march will begin at 10 am at Curries Fountain and end at the City Hall.
Writers Shaka Sisulu and Khaya Dlanga (whose birthday it is today) arranged a #PeaceBus to transport Johannesburg youth to Durban to join the march. As many have tweeted: “big up to you guys, making more than just noise on Twitter”.
Law enforcement authorities will be out in full force today. People attending the march are warned not to carry weapons as these will be confiscated. And to not wear clothing displaying political party colours and symbols including badges, caps and T-shirts, as this is a peace march for all Africans.
See live tweets from the march below.
Collections for Foreign Nationals & those affected by Xenophobia
Temporary shelter has been set up for the displaced with Non-Government Organisations and government making sure they are provided with at least three meals a day, blankets and personal hygiene items. Residents of Durban are invited to assist.
UMHLANGA: According to local Sue Eyre Clarke there are at least 2,500 people stranded in three refugee camps, including more than 200 infants. Durbanites are invited to drop off stuff at the address below to “show we care and that we would like to be helped in this way in a foreign country.”
Their Main Needs are: Baby products (clothes, food, nappies, etc.), Adult clothes, Toiletries (sanitary pads, soaps, toothpaste etc.), Non-perishable food, Blankets and Tents.
Drop-Off Address (until Friday): Level 1, 21 Richefond Circle, Ridgeside Office Park, Umhlanga Ridge For those overseas who would like to help, please visit www.facebook.com/glenridgechurch to request donation details.
DURBAN NORTH: Republik (Burger Restaurant, Wine Bar & Coffee Shop) is also collecting donations for the Red Cross to drop off on Friday: “Please help us, help ‘US’! Any and all donations in forms of non perishable foods, blankets and clothing would go a long way! #WeAreAllAfrican #AfricaUnite #WeAreBetterThanThis
Drop Off Address (until Friday): Unit 8 Broadway Shopping Centre, Cnr Broadway and Kensington, Durban North. Phone: +27 31 573 1429
Design Indaba Initiative to #MakeChange
Design Indaba has responded to the recent xenophobic attacks with a way to #makechange by issuing an invitation to illustrators.
“This image, created today by Christoph Niemann, the illustrator and graphic designer – famous for his Abstract Sunday Blog on The New York Times, and his various covers for The New Yorker – is about how xenophobia hurts society as a whole. “We’re looking for South African illustrators to create images that address this issue in their own way.”
If you would like to send them something, write to: editorial [at] designindaba.com.
Petition to USA/EU/UN/UK Leaders to denounce SA Xenophobia & pressure SA President
This petition has been set up by Simbarashe Patrick Nyanhanga to send to Barack H. Obama (USA President; Donald Tusk (EU President); Ban Ki-moon (UN Secretary); British Premier. The target is 5,000 signatures of which the petition already has over 3,000. Click here to view/sign the petition.
Positive Sharing of Information and Messages on Social Media
KZN Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni has appealed to people who are posting false information and photos about the number of deaths and attacks on social media, to stop. He said this amounted to nothing more than “hate speech” and not only causes “undue panic in communities but also has the potential to fuel the violence.”
Below are some of the more positive messages being shared on Twitter, including one from film actress Terry Pheto (‘Tsotsi’):
FOLLOW THE PEACE MARCH HERE ON TWITTER: #peacemarch Tweets