Demonstrators gathered outside U.S. missions in several South African cities on Monday to voice their concern about police brutality and racism in the country.
Protesters led by opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched outside the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and consulates in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The protests were in solidarity with the black-lives-matter protests which began in the U.S. two weeks ago over the killing of George Floyd, an African American killed at the hands of the white police.
EFF leader Julius Malema led the march in Pretoria, while his deputy Floyd Shivambu was part of the protest that took place outside the U.S. consulate in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Addressing marchers in Pretoria, Malema said every human being must be treated with dignity regardless of their skin color.
“We want to say to all our brothers all over the world that we are with you. The treatment of black people with dignity must start here in Africa by us treating each other with respect,” he said.
Shivambu said the march was aimed at eradicating white supremacy.
“These protests must be about ending white supremacy, we’re not calling for end of oppression, we’re calling for equality,” he said the scourge of racism must end, “Let us continue to fight against racism, white domination and the exploitation of our people.”
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, speaking on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, has called on leaders in the U.S. to “work together to end violence and develop a set of measures that would serve to end the insecurity and harm experienced by many members of the African-American community”.
South Africa’s ruling party African National Congress (ANC) expressed concern, saying that police brutality against African-Americans is on the increase and emphasising the systemic nature of racism in the U.S.
“It is inescapable that American society places a perilously low value on black lives… People of colour are routinely slaughtered due to the colour of their skin,” it said in a statement