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People unite against xenophobia

- By Buhle Zuma

A number of marches and events are planned this week to denounce the recurring xenophobic violence in our country.

Wits University will host a march on its premises and also participate in other marches organised by its neighbours in the Braamfontein and Hillbrow Precincts where its other campuses are located. All are invited to participate in the following public solidarity events:

  • themed No one is illegal, the borders are on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 at 13:00 starting from International House. The march will end outside the Great Hall.
  • Wits Choirs sing against Xenophobia at a concert on Thursday, 23 April at 19:00 at the Wits Theatre. The repertoire for the evening’s show consists of music with origins in Africa including a folksong from Kenya, marching songs from Namibia, a song by Harry Belafonte which is based on a song from Guinea-Bissau and South African music. Admission is free but seating is limited to 367 audience members, so please do come early. In lieu of a ticket price, audience members are invited to bring in donations of food, clothing or any other in-kind help which will be donated to relevant organisations assisting displaced foreigners.
  • People's March against Xenophobiaorganised by the coalition of faith-based organisations, trade unions, NGOs and corporate South Africa alongside people directly affected by the violence. It takes place on Thursday, 23 April at 13:00 from Pieter Roos Park in Hillbrow to Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.
  • LEAD SA Vigil tonight, 21 April 2015 at 19:00 – 21:00 at Constitution Hill.

The Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, has written an open letter to leaders in higher education adding his voice to the condemnations and to reassure the over 70 000 foreign students in our institutions that South Africa is a home to all. Read the statement.

Counselling is also available to the Wits Community at the Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU) and the Drama for Life offices.

Students needing confidential supportive counselling inclusive of those who may be traumatised by the xenophobic attacks, are encouraged to visit the CCDU for support/debriefing/counselling offered by mental health professionals.

CCDU Offices:

The West Campus Office is located behind the Engineering Building and adjacent to the Science Stadium. Telephone: (011) 717 9140/32.

The Education Campus Office is located on the 1st Floor in the Administration Building.

Opening hours:

The CCDU can be accessed weekdays from 08:00-16:30 on West Campus.

Drama for Life is in the same building as the Wits Arts Museum located in the University Corner Building, corner of Bertha and Jorrisen Streets. Should you need support you are welcome to visit from 14:00 to 17:00 weekdays, or you can email busikafaith@yahoo.com

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