Pretoria - Thousands of South Africans who took part in a peace march today, have spoken in one voice, calling for peace and for an end to attacks on foreign nationals.
The peace march was organised by the KwaZulu-Natal government, amid violent attacks against foreign nationals in various parts of the province, especially the greater Durban area.
Five people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in the attacks which flared up in several parts of KZN, including KwaMashu and Umlazi over the past two weeks.
The march, which started at Curries Fountain and proceeded to City Hall, in Durban, was led by Premier Senzo Mchunu, who was joined by the political leadership; faith based organisations, NGOs as well as foreign nationals.
Among the political leadership that joined the march included ANC Treasurer, Dr Zweli Mkhize, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo, State Security Minister David Mahlobo, Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu and Speaker of the provincial legislature Lydia Johnson.
First Lady Thobeka Mabhida-Zuma also joined thousands of marchers through the streets of Durban against attacks on foreign nationals.
Speaking on behalf of national government, Minister Mahlobo condemned the attacks, describing it as barbaric and inhumane.
Minister Mahlobo expressed condolences to the families of foreign nationals, who lost their lives during the attacks.
“On behalf of government, we wish to send condolences to people who lost their families and wish the injured a speedy recovery,” Minister Mahlobo said.
The Minister also warned people not to take the law into their own hands, emphasising that when a crime is committed, the law must take its course.
Minister Mahlobo further urged people who use social media to refrain from distributing wrong information in connection with attacks of foreign nationals.
Johnson made a commitment on behalf of members of provincial legislature to meet with communities and speak in one voice against attacks on foreign nationals.
“Let’s all work together and accept them, and when you go home, pass on the message of love,” said Johnson.
Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Nomvuzo Shabalala, warned that the attacks on foreign nationals affects the country’s economy, which then leads to a decrease in job opportunities.
Police have arrested 74 people for offenses including murder, public violence, business robbery, theft and possession of firearms and ammunition. – SAnews.gov.za