- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: Thousands march in Johannesburg against xenophobic violence
- Date: 24th May 2008
- Summary: PEOPLE LISTENING AT RALLY (SOUNDBITE) (English) MINISTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY GERALDINE FRASER-MOLEKETI, SAYING: "And we come together to say that no one will push us into a scourge of hatred, into a scourge of violence. We will simply and do reject that with utter contempt and our coming together here today is to say that as Africans, we unite and we unite so proudly, Amandla Awethu." CROWD CHANTING AMANDLA
- Embargoed: 8th June 2008 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA65Z4Z6OTHHWQFNDRZZU1BUPVB
- Story Text: Thousands of people take to the streets of Johannesburg to protest against xenophobic violence which has claimed at least 42 lives and displaced tens of thousands of African migrants in South Africa over the past two weeks.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Johannesburg on Saturday (May 24) calling for the end of xenophobic violence that has killed at least 42 African migrants and displaced tens of thousands more.
Demonstrators, singing and chanting, carried placards that read, "Free market, free immigration, free South Africa" and "Xenophobia hurts like apartheid".
"We are scared because we have nowhere to stay and the people they are attacking us too much, so we are suffering very much because they are burning us, they are looting us, and they are chasing us from everywhere, so we have nowhere to run, we have no country, we have no government, and we have no ambassadors here. Those with ambassadors and governments they have already gone to their homes. We are the only people who are suffering here now,"
said Somalian refugee Nuhr Shurie.
The South African government has been criticised for its slow reaction to the violence, the worst since apartheid ended 14 years ago, and for not adequately addressing poverty widely blamed for the bloodshed. The conflict started in Johannesburg's Alexandra township on May 11, and has spread to Cape Town and the eastern port city of Durban.
"It's not good to kill a black African. They must stop this thing, it's nonsense. We don't like this thing at all. I don't like this thing that is happening, they must not kill each other," added a local resident at the march.
Minister of Public Safety and Security Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi attended the march. "And we come together to say that no one will push us into a scourge of hatred, into a scourge of violence. We will simply and do reject that with utter contempt and on coming together here today is to say that as Africans, we unite and we unite so proudly, Amandla Awethu," she said.
There was a heavy police presence as demonstrators made their way to some of the areas hardest hit by the violence.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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