NMMU to march against xenophobia

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 23, 2015

Student from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) will take part in a silent protest march later this afternoon against the spate of xenophobic attacks that flared-up three weeks ago.

The march, which will start at the conference centre lawn on North Campus at 12h00 and end at Embizweni on South Campus, will be led by Eastern Cape Premier, Phumullo Masualle, with all participants asked to wear black as a sign of solitude. A reported seven foreigners have so far been killed since the attacks broke-out in Durban last month.

“Diversity is our strength. We want to speak with one voice. The students are keen to show how their lives are enriched by interacting with those who come from outside of South Africa,” NMMU Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy, Allan Zinn, said in a statement on the university’s website.

Devised by the South African Students Congress (Sasco), a banner with the signatures of more than 10 000 students against the violence, will be handed over to NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz, and University Chair of Council Judge Ronnie Pillay at the completion of the march.

Speaking in a statement, Prof Swartz said that the country’s constitutional values must be upheld and that violence and intimidation against fellow Africans is intolerable.

“Violence against someone on the basis of national origin or any other marker of social difference is simply unacceptable,” he said.

“Our path of economic development has failed so far to create an inclusive society, and we are sitting on a time-bomb. Fresh solutions for inclusive growth and distribution of the fruits of that growth must be found, and all of us have to work towards this goal with a sense of urgency.

“Failure to do so will erode the social fabric, and fuel internecine violence and social degradation of our communities. However, we must not accept the economic deprivation as a justification for xenophobia”.

Among the high ranking officials who have shown support to the march, include Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor Benson Fihla as well as former Mayor Nceba Faku.

 

IMAGE sourced from nmmu.ac.za