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Amakhosi urge unity against rioters under #ProtectSouthAfrica hashtag

Durban is on fire as people burn and loot shops.
Durban is on fire as people burn and loot shops.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Traditional leaders on Wednesday spoke out against the ongoing vandalism, looting and intimidation of law-abiding residents engulfing KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, and urged the country to unite behind a #ProtectSouthAfrica initiative.

“We recognise that people might have legitimate concerns [but] violence cannot be a solution,” the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, Chairpersons Forum, Contralesa and National Khoi-San Council said in a joint statement.

“As amakhosi across the country, we join President Cyril Ramaphosa, government, law-abiding citizens and all sectors of society in calling for an immediate stop to these disgraceful acts of looting across the country.”

The violence would have a long-lasting affect on the economy, they cautioned, and the rioting was also threatening food and health security.

“The sick, the poor and the marginalised communities will surely feel the worst because of these cowardly acts. This is a time for all of us to come together to protect lives and livelihoods.

“We as traditional leaders are choosing to maintain and uphold the rule of law, pursue dialogue and mobilise resources and capabilities to restore order, build up — and not shut down — SA.

“We urge communities across the country to say no to these acts of violence, protect lives and livelihoods and work with the police in protecting our communities. #ProtectSouthAfrica.”