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Grahamstown to forge unity with 'human chain'

Date Released: Tue, 11 February 2014 15:15 +0200

THE late former president Nelson Mandela's vision for a united South Africa is set to be realised by residents in Grahamstown when the city hold engagements on population divisions which still exist in the city.

About 5000 residents are expected to participate in the first event of its kind in the province on February 21. The event will see residents forming a human chain through the city, connecting residents from Ncame Street in Joza township to Somerset Street in town.

Roger Domingo, co-organiser and director of the Grahamstown Area Distress Relief Organisation said that while Grahamstown residents were often separated by location, the chain affords them the opportunity to bridge the divides that still exist in the city. "We continue to live in divided societies where past divides and great inequality exist, but these are the things Madiba fought against and we should be conscious of this.

We can still come together and be united and keep striving towards those values of an equal society," Domingo said. "Regardless of location, we will be linked as a city. Whether you're holding hands up in Joza (Township) or in High Street you'll still be linked with people all over the city. This chain will pass through three areas and through past divides and can serve as a symbol of integration," he said.

Co-organiser and director of community engagement at Rhodes University, Diana Hornby, said: "Madibabrought a divided people into a nation and if he and our future mean anything to us we should reflect on how we move forward. "One way to move forward is in the human chain way, acknowledging our role in building and shaping a new and just society in Grahamstown."

He said many events and festivals come to the city and yet with many of these there is still a "sense of disunity". "People don't actually come together. I think the fact that this event is non-political, not aligned to any particular institution or organisation and is Grahamstown-led, plays an important part in really getting people to join forces and reflect on where we are as a country 20 years into democracy, where we want to go and how the values of Madiba can help with this."

By: Sithandiwe Velaphi

Caption: Roger Domingo will lead the initiative aimed at putting an end to racial divisions in Grahamstown.


Source:The New Age