'Nkandla is the epitome of looting on a broader scale'

Zwelinzima Vavi called on the working class to march against xenophobia on Thursday.

FILE. Axed Cosatu Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Expelled Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi says Nkandla is the epitome of the looting and unashamed stealing from the poor, but on a much broader scale.

Vavi joined the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), trade unions such as the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and organisations such as Section 27 and Corruption Watch in an emergency coalition condemning xenophobia and challenging stake holders to march against the attacks, on Thursday.

Over 30,000 people are expected to march in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Vavi says Nkandla is just one manifestation of a country in crisis.

"All of those crisis are what we are dealing with here; workers being turned against one another, whether they're from South Africa or South Africa versus the rest of the African workers."

He says the xenophobic violence is a representation of a political order that has failed workers across the continent.

"Nkandla is an epitome, a manifestation, a tip on the iceberg of that looting."

Vavi has called on the working class to join the march against the attacks on foreign nationals on Thursday, to send a clear message that workers will not be taken advantage of anymore.

WATCH: Xenophobic violence rocks Durban CBD


As an the coalition called for all to take a stand and join the people's march against xenophobia, a Zimbabwean man says he's heartbroken that he was attacked in what he calls his second home.

Obed Malgwiro says he was chased out of his home in Zimbabwe and chased again from his home in KwaZulu-Natal.

"It was painful in my heart. If I think about it, some have already lost their lives. Even now it's painful. South Africa is my second home."

LISTEN: Clinical Psychologist Thabang Tlaka speaks on the psychological & emotional effects of xenophobia on foreign nationals & their children.

The ADF's Jean-Pierre Lukamba says the victims of apartheid have become the perpetrators of xenophobia in South Africa.

"Africa, you are supporting other migrants in South Africa. If we're not seeing you at our march this Thursday, supporting other African migrants, it means you're also xenophobic."

The forum says it warned government earlier this year to stop xenophobic violence at the beginning of the year, but was not taken seriously.