Tutu calls for leadership and a peaceful resolution to racial violence in Cape Town
The hair-trigger racial tensions constantly present in South Africa erupted into violence when protestors took to the streets over a ‘whites only” school prom in Cape Town
The organisers said the event was was open to all school leavers taking final exams but numbers had been limited because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trouble flared after social media posts claimed it was the party was ‘whites only’ party. The resulting protest was met by police with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu made an appeal for calm issuing a statement through the Desmond and Leah Tutu Heritage Foundation calling for a “peaceful and rational discourse and action. Not division”
The statement pointed out that: “The protagonists, who hold widely divergent views on history and race, are actually acting with common purpose: To undermine non-racialism and the menu of rights enshrined in the constitution. And to collapse the diminishing centre of our divided society, where common purpose resides.”
These people, he said, did not represent the vast majority of South Africans, who crave peaceful and meaningful resolutions to the country’s systemic problems including the problems of inequality and prejudice.”
And he lamented the fact that no leaders had stepped forward to manage the crisis.
“Neither the Education Department in the province nor the school have been moved to condemn the divisive function. Neither appears to recognise the polarities in our society, or feel any responsibility to fix them.”