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Youth league marches against xenophobia

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Tanisha Heiberg
April25/ 2015

Members and supporters of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) were the latest to take to the streets of Johannesburg in a show of opposition to the recent wave of violence against foreign nationals.

MARCHING AGAINST XENOPHOBIA: ANCYL members marched and sang songs along the streets of Johannesburg in solidarity against the recent xenophobic attacks, on April 24 2015. Photo: Tanisha Heiberg
MARCHING AGAINST XENOPHOBIA: ANCYL members marched along the streets of Johannesburg in solidarity against the recent xenophobic attacks, on April 24. Photo: Tanisha Heiberg

A group of African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) members and supporters marched in the streets of Johannesburg against xenophobic attacks yesterday afternoon.

The march of around 100 people started on the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge and made its way to the Yeoville Recreation Centre in Johannesburg.

A truck with loud speakers played songs of unity and led the supporters wearing ANC colours and waving flags and banners in solidarity against the recent attacks.

Boards bearing the hashtag #stopxenophobia, read “This is not what we fought for” and “An injury to one is an injury to all”.

“For us to realize the full potential of Africa we need to be united.”

The league’s provincial spokesperson Mbali Hlophe said the march comes from the rise of Afrophobic attacks that have taken place throughout the country and the need to unite all Africans.

ANCYL MARCH: Member's of the ANCYL marching to Yoeville Recreational Centre in support against xenophobia. Photo: Riante Naidoo
THE YOUTH  MARCH: Member’s of the ANCYL marching to Yoeville Recreational Centre in support against xenophobia. Photo: Riante Naidoo

“Whilst we acknowledge the societal ills that are taking place, we are saying to you redirect your energy because attacking each other isn’t going to work nor is it going to get you a job the next day,” Hlophe said.

Lehlohonolo Thatho, a learner at a Johannesburg school, said, “There are some learners from outside the country who don’t feel safe to go to school, so we have to say no to xenophobia.”

An energized crowd toyi-toyi’ed and sang anti-xenophobia songs as they made their way through the streets whilst attracting crowds of spectators from the buildings and shops along the route.

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Tanisha Heiberg