Makhura accepts letter of demand by 'Blood Friday' protesters

“The only sin is the colour of my skin/ What have we done‚ what have we done?”

These were the words sung by people taking part in the #BloodFridayMarch in Johannesburg as they made their way to the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Friday.

More than 100 people took part in the march‚ organised by the Gauteng Shutdown Co-ordinating Committee (GSCC)‚ representing coloured people in various suburbs of the city.

They assembled at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown to finalise a letter of demands before heading off to meet Makhura.

“Our forefathers were the first occupants of this land‚ yet we continue to be socially and economically excluded‚” said GSCC spokesperson Anthony Williams. “Our call to the land is legitimate. We are the land and the land is us.”

Coloured people from several suburbs in Gauteng marched through Johannesburg’s city centre to Premier David Makhura’s office on Friday, October 12 2018, to hand over a list of grievances about violence and drug dealing linked to gangsters in their areas. Organised under the “total shutdown” banner, the event was called the “Blood march” to commemorate those who have died violently in their suburbs. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here:

Committee organiser Brenda Johnson read the letter of demands to Makhura‚ which included information about how much money had been spent in the last decade to develop areas where the majority of the population are coloured people.

Williams said drugs‚ hijackings and gangsters were “by the way issues” in coloured areas. “The real core of our issues emanate from economic issues.”

The city centre was briefly brought to a standstill and some shops closed as the protesters sang and whistled while marching.

The premier accepted the letter of demand. “I thank you for the discipline you showed today. I heard there was a problem with permission to march and I asked the officers to please work with you‚ because you were going to feel rejected again‚” he said.

The committee said “Blood Friday” would become an annual event to commemorate coloured people who died because of gang violence‚ drugs and the brutality that plagues areas where coloured people live.

The GSCC plans to go to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s office on Tuesday.

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