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25 Jan 2008 14:49
South Africa’s white community should publicly express their concern and outrage at the murder of black people in Swartruggens, the South African Institute of Race Relations said on Friday.
“The South African Institute of Race Relations this morning called for organisations and leaders within South Africa’s white community to publicly express their concern and outrage at the murder of four black people at the hands of a young white gunman in the Swartruggens community,” said institute spokesperson Mapeete Mohale in a statement.
The organisation cautioned that the impression should not be made that the broader white community sympathised with the gunman.
The institute added its voice to those groups who had said that the murders were motivated by racism. Mohale said: “The shooting appeared to be aimed expressly at black people and was not simply random.”
The institute lauded Democratic Alliance Parliamentary Leader Sandra Botha for expressing solidarity with the suffering of the victim’s families.
“The message must be clear that white South Africans reject racist actions emanating from within localised communities and are not indifferent to the victims of such acts,” she said.
The institute’s deputy chief executive, Frans Cronje, added that protesters who had waved placards threatening to “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer” at Thursday’s protest outside the Swartruggens Magistrate’s Court made it difficult for members of the white community to attend the protest.
“Our common outrage should unite rather than divide us,” he said.—Sapa
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