'Africa Day is an opportunity to fight xenophobia'

As the continent observes Africa Day some say they support President Jacob Zuma’s pleas for unity.

President Jacob Zuma at Africa day Celebration held at University of Pretoria, Mamelodi Campus on 24 May 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - As the continent observes Africa Day today, some South Africans say they support President Jacob Zuma's pleas for unity.

On Sunday, Zuma called on South Africans to learn the African Union (AU) anthem.

He was speaking at the first of government's Africa Day celebrations in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria.

Those who were attending the event say Africa Day is an opportunity for South Africa to fight against xenophobia.

"It's a very important reminder that as we enjoy the fruits of freedom, we must reminder ourselves that we've to share the benefits of it with those who fought with us to see us free.

Others said they are proud to be residents of the continent despite the challenges it faces on daily basis.

"We're proud to be Africans. We're proud to be residents of this beautiful wonderful continent of Africa.

Meanwhile, AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the formation of the AU on South African soil should be a reminder of the country's duty to remain united with other African states.

Dlamini-Zuma was also speaking at the same event.

She called for a complete end to violence against foreign nationals in South Africa.

She reminded hundreds gathered that the formation of the AU was to ensure the freedom of colonised African states.

Following government's declaration of May as Africa month, Dlamini-Zuma said South Africans should not be quick to forget the sacrifices made my other nations for the country's own liberation.