Religious, political and traditional leaders have called for peace and unity among South Africans and those who come from other parts of Africa.
These leaders met for an informative dialogue at Site C community hall on Saturday December 9 to share ideas that promote social cohesion.
They said it was uncalled for that people were labelled with derogatory names and emphasised that foreigners from other African nations should be treated with respect and dignity.
However, they made it clear that foreigners should also respect the constitution of this country and should not engage on criminal activities.
The event was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) and other stakeholders.
AMC president Mansoor Zanid, said the objective was to strengthen the notion of unity and diversity.
He appealed to the public to be tolerant and accept each other, and share their skills and knowledge instead of fighting with each other.
“Violence perpetrated by a black person on another should stop. We are all the victims of colonisation,” he said.
Mr Zanid said they had the responsibility of implementing plans and programmes that would take the continent to new heights. He said people should embrace the spirit of Ubuntu.
Chairperson of Sizwe Samatolo Traditional Council, chief Daluxolo Mtotywa, said insulting other people led to fights and xenophobic attacks.
He said people should co-exist despite the colour of their skin, origins and language.
He argued that the next generation should not be the victims of their actions and that they needed to teach children at a young age that they should t respect others and be tolerant of their beliefs.
He said violence and hatred would never take the African continent forward and that it was time to put the past behind and heal broken relationships.
“We are all human beings. We want to promote unity in this country.
“We should denounce violence and hatred of any form. We should work together in producing great leaders that would take the country forward. We are all Africans after all,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Attwell Nodume, of Site B police station, said that if people promoted peace and unity, it would make their jobs easier.
He warned that nobody within the borders of the country was above the law.
He said peace and unity was a positive step in rebuilding trust among South Africans and those from the rest of Africa.
“Our job is to maintain peace and order and this would help them in their work. We need many of these dialogues so that messages get across. We value such dialogues because they denounce violence,” he said.
DA MP and Khayelitsha constituency leader, Thandeka Gqada applauded the community leaders for initiating the event.
She said leaders needed to start preaching peace so that they could influence people on the ground to do the same. She said that if people were attacking one another, that did not do the country any good.
“It’s important to have partnerships on how to deal with matters that is affecting the people of Khayelitsha,” she said.