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Silent vigils in support of Black Lives Matter held in Cape Town

12 June 2020

Archbishop tells of shock at number of deaths at the hands of law-enforcement officers


A demonstrator is pictured during an anti-racism protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday

A demonstrator is pictured during an anti-racism protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday

SILENT vigils on the theme Black Lives Matter were held at the Anglican cathedrals in Cape Town and Pretoria, in South Africa, last Sunday.

Clergy gathered on the steps of St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, where the Archbishop, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, delivered a message saying that he was shocked at the number of people who had died at the hands of law-enforcement officers during South Africa’s stringent lockdown.

“In our own backyards, at least 12 people are reported to have died at the hands of the police and army troops. We recognise that investigations are still ongoing, but we are deeply concerned that the plight of our sisters and brothers is going unnoticed and forgotten.

“Our prayers here today have been for Collins Khoza, and all those he represents in South Africa who have been killed by forces deployed by the state to enforce lockdown regulations,” he said, before proceeding to read out the names of those who had died.

On 10 April, soldiers assaulted Mr Khoza in his home in Alexandra township, near Johannesburg.

The Archbishop said that it was shocking that the soldiers implicated had been exonerated of any “culpability in Mr Khosa’s death”. He condemned the police and army for ignoring President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea to protect communities during lockdown and not use excessive force.

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