Vavi: I’m proud of thousands taking a stand against xenophobia

Zwelinzima Vavi is among the growing crowd marching against attacks on foreigners.

Zwelinzima Vavi with some of the people who took part in the anti-xenophobia march in Johannesburg on 23 April 2015. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi says he is proud of the thousands of South Africans who are marching in Parktown against xenophobia.

He's among the growing crowd of South Africans who are making their way to Mary Fitzgerald Square this afternoon in a collective stand against attacks on foreigners.

Vavi says he will be thinking of one person in particular as he marches today.

"That man in Alexandra, that was holding a knife and slaughtering a human being, [Emmanuel] Sithole. That's what is on my mind this afternoon."

At least seven people have been killed across the country in the recent wave of violence.

He says South Africans who are saying no to xenophobia represent the true image of the country.

"It's going to be a great and beautiful day, it's a beautiful statement... that we communicating to other South Africans and to the people all over the world, that the majority of South Africa is not xenophobic."

While he admits there is an unemployment catastrophe in South Africa, he has sent a clear message that locals cannot blame foreigners.

City officials said they expected about 30,000 people to take part in the march.

People from different communities, locals and foreign nationals have joined the anti-xenophobia march in Parktown. There's a strong sense of unity, with marchers saying xenophobic attacks must come to an end.

One woman says it's important to speak out against the atrocities that have happened on home soil in recent weeks.

"So when we come, all of us like this, we are one and we are speaking one language. What are we saying? It is resonating in the spiritual realm that we are against xenophobia and that we are for peace."

#NoToXenophobia @Abramjee and Gauteng board Chairman of community policing Andy Mashaile say no to xenophobia. EC pic.twitter.com/gwfOZdm4ph

#Xenophobia A prayer lead by Bishop Paul Verryn before the march starts. GN pic.twitter.com/bvpTeD52m1

#Xenophobia People from different communities will be joining this march. GN pic.twitter.com/dKZefrgfwY

#Xenophobia Hundreds have arrived for the People's March against xenophobia. Should start walking soon. GN pic.twitter.com/4FBRgi71zR