Civil society organisations, including the Khulumani Support Group, faith-based organisations, academia, educators and school students, as well as government and the private sector came together in their thousands to join the People’s March against Xenophobia on Thursday, 23 April, 2015.
In an overwhelming show of support for predominantly desperate Africans who have been under attack this past month, Gauteng demonstrated solidarity with all affected communities living among them, and their rejection of the violence.
Tediso Ngcobo, a Khulumani datacapturer who was interviewed by ETV News Channel, explains that his participation was…
“…really an amazing journey because that is how I like to look at it: as a journey. I was really impressed about the number of people that turned out to be there and for myself to have a courage to do an interview it was really something I cannot explain. At first, it felt like a first time, but when time goes on I was really enjoying it especially when we were marching to Mary Fitzgerald (Square). That changed everything. We were walking along with people from Nigeria and from Ghana. It really meant a lot that our premier was there along with other comrades.”
Another Khulumani datacapturer, Shirley Raphiri, also described her experience,
“I would like to say thanks for this opportunity as an intern to learn about things that are happening in our country. My first interview was with Power FM. It was my first experience of being on air. My second interview was a live interview with SABC News.”
At the time of the march in which more than 170 organisations, groups and individuals participated – over 5,000 people from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi were still seeking refuge in displacement camps in KwaZulu Natal and some locations in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. Many of them have suffered violent attacks and still lived in fear. At camps in KwaZulu Natal, injured Malawian and Zimbabwean men told medics that they are too afraid to openly seek medical treatment for their wounds and fractures for fear of further attack.
The People’s March Against Xenophobia is an emergency coalition convened to confront the horrors of xenophobia in South Africa, and to take a stand to denounce the violence and embrace unity.