zimbabwe africa cup of nations 2019

Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs stars condemn Xenophobic and gender-based violence

Kaizer Chiefs skipper Itumeleng Khune has led calls by the club’s star players for an end to the shocking wave of violence that appears to have South Africa in its grip.

zimbabwe africa cup of nations 2019

Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Several prominent Kaizer Chiefs players have taken to social media to call for an end to the violence that is currently dominating headlines.

Already gripped by renewed incidents of Xenophobic violence in Johannesburg’s CBD South Africa has been shocked by frequent reports of violent attacks on women and children.

Xenophobic attacks lead to cancellation of Friendly

Bafana Bafana’s scheduled friendly international against Zambia was cancelled earlier this week in the wake of the attacks aimed at foreign nationals. The attacks focused on those trading in the Johannesburg CBD as well as other parts of Gauteng.

Police raids on the CBD, ostensibly to root out the sale of counterfeit or black market goods, have been accused of fuelling violence and Xenophobic sentiment.

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Kaizer Chiefs, as the South African club with the biggest support base, have the power to reach a lot of people within the country and beyond and their players have come out against the Xenophobic violence. They would also speak out against the shocking acts of violence perpetrated against women in South Africa.

Chiefs sport several foreign nationals in their ranks, including Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande of Zimbabwe, and Daniel Akpeyi of Nigeria. Itumeleng Khune, Lebogang Manyama, George Maluleka, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Daniel Cardoso joined them in issuing a video message calling for an end to Xenophobia.

The video was posted to the Twitter account of Amakhosi skipper Khune.

Watch Kaizer Chiefs stars plea

In a seperate post Billiat quoted a piece of scripture and reiterated calls for attacks on foreign nationals to cease.

The South African Footballers Player Union (SAFPU) joined in on condemning the attacks and the prevalence of Xenophobia in South Africa.

Khune issued a series of Tweets calling for unity in South Africa and Africa as a whole and condemning violence against women and children.

Zimbabwean government condemns attacks

The government of Zimbabwe on Wednesday urged its citizens based in South Africa, or travelling to the neighbouring country to “take necessary precaution” in the wake of widespread attacks on foreign business owners and looting of their goods.

“All Zimbabweans living in South Africa, and those travelling to the country are urged to take necessary precaution to ensure their safety,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.

The Harare authorities expressed “heartfelt sympathies to all Zimbabweans and other African nationals who suffered from the senseless orgy of violence in South Africa.”

Mutsvangwa added: “The government and people of Zimbabwe condemn the barbaric acts, which clearly offends the spirit of African unity and solidarity espoused by the African Union’s founding fathers in Addis Ababa in 1963”.

“These despicable attacks come at an opportune time when African leaders have just launched a continent-wide Africa Free Trade Area, which has opened exciting economic opportunities that facilitate free movement of capital, labour, goods, and services.”