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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo


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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) workers and management took to the streets in demonstration against xenophobia at Zoo Lake on Thursday, 23 April following the recent outbreaks of attacks against African foreign nationals in the city and elsewhere in the country.

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JCPZ workers formed a human chain along Jan Smuts Avenue holding placards reading "No to Xenophobia," and chanting "End xenophobia now", while motorists travelling the route showed their solidarity by hooting in response.

The demonstration come after xenophobic attacks erupted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, resulting in the death of seven people and the displacement of thousands, and coincided with a march involving thousands of residents through central Johannesburg.

Addressing the crowd at Zoo Lake, City Parks Managing Director Bulumko Nelana said Africans shared the same heritage and lineage.

"We believe that all human have a right to seek opportunity and growth anywhere in the world without being hindered by artificial borders," Nelana said. "Our systems must enable all of us to move freely to pursue our ambitions."

Nelana urged governments the world over to come up with effective, enlightened strategies for dealing with migration.

"Migration should be for human prosperity," Nelana said. "Our world leaders must guide all their citizens to embrace migration and instead use it for the benefit of humanity."

Bucksey Matlama, a Malvern resident, said he had joined the demonstration in order to raise his concerns over the wave of violence against foreigners.

"I hate xenophobia and want to let my fellow South African know that what they are doing is wrong," Matlama said.