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Call for Africa to unite
​PEACE ADVOCATES: Premier Senzo Mchunu, back, and  Mayor
James Nxumalo sign the peace pledge at the City Hall after the
march, while marchers, right, look on.

​PROVINCIAL and local Government have called for calm during a peace march against xenophobia through the streets of Durban, following days of unrest in different parts of eThekwini.

Thousands of people from all walks of life joined the march from Curries Fountain Stadium to the City Hall to encourage people to unite in the drive to restore peace and stability in our communities.

A delegation, led by Premier Senzo Mchunu and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo appealed to residents to work with the Government and law enforcement agencies to address the root causes of the sporadic violent attacks directed at foreigners.

A pledge was signed in solidarity with Africans who are victims of attacks and violence, particularly the recent xenophobia incidents. Mchunu condemned the xenophobic attacks and reiterated the message that Africans must unite. “As Government, we want to say our nationalities are not our enemies, our enemies are poverty, unemployment, diseases and illiteracy. You can be South African, Mozambican, Malawian or Zimbabwean, we are one, because we are all Africans.”

The peace march comes in the wake of recent attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses in uMlazi, Verulam, Isiphingo, KwaMashu, Chatsworth, KwaMakhutha and the city centre. A multi-disciplinary high-level Government Task Team was deployed by President Jacob Zuma. The National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega, made available additional resources to the province.
Government’s primary objective is to ensure that the displaced foreign nationals are reintegrated into communities.

South Africa is an integral part of the African continent, a member of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. The march began with interfaith prayers and the African Union anthem. The march was supported by State Security Minister David Mahlobo, ANC Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize, KwaZulu-Natal MECs, Speaker of the legislature Lydia Johnson, First Lady Thobekile Madiba, eThekwini Executive Committee members, councillors, representatives of different political parties, amakhosi, religious leaders, radio personalities and artists.

Mchunu warned perpetrators of the attacks that they would face the full might of the law. “Government’s message to the foreign nationals is that we do not want any violence against them and we do not want any part of the City to be barricaded to anyone. We say ‘no’ to violence against foreign nationals,” he said.

Nxumalo echoed the Premier’s sentiments and appealed for calm in communities. “We openly condemn any form of violence against any human being. All issues can be solved peacefully, through dialogue. There is no need to commit acts of violence against one another. Those engaging in unlawful activities such as attacking other people and looting must stop,” he said.

silindile.maluleka@durban.gov.za

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