South Africans in New Zealand Hold Vigils to Protest against Violence Back Home, ask NZ Government for Border Exceptions

South African expatriates in New Zealand gathered to show solidarity with their loved ones back home who have been affected by the recent insurrections. The country is currently suffering from coordinated assaults in the form of arson and larceny within the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

Vigils have taken place across the globe including in the US and UK. Protesters gathered in Wellington and Auckland, NZ on Monday to speak against the surge in violence in South Africa over the past week. With over 70, 000 South Africans domiciled in New Zealand, the “Rainbow nation” is the 5th largest source of New Zealand immigration.

A South African Protester in London (Photo Credit: Leah van Zyl)

The vigil in New Zealand which took place on the 19th of July, 2021 was intended to raise awareness of the recent social unrest in South Africa that has led to violence and looting. Many have called the recent events the “Darkest Hour” in the history of democratic South Africa.

Following the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, there has been a spontaneous instigation of incendiary rage leading many political analysts to allude to the influence of a “third force” sympathetic to the former leader. South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa opined that the violence was premeditated. There is a suggestion that the unrest was instigated in order to further weaken an already vulnerable economy.

Police Officers clash with rioters in Central Durban on Sunday Night (AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of South Africans have so far made inquiries about emigration since the violence began. South Africans are living in fear of their lives as over 200 have reportedly lost their lives to the violence. South African expats in New Zealand asked the NZ Government to offer concessionary exemptions for families separated by closed borders. They stated that there are humanitarian grounds for expats to have their family and loved ones join them in New Zealand.

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