South Africa has recently been badly affected by civil disturbances. The violence began in Durban, where two foreigners and three South Africans were killed, but has now spread to Johannesburg. With the unemployment rate at 25%, local people have aimed their anger at immigrants and immigrant businesses. More than 100 people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and 5,000 have been displaced. A sixth person died on Wednesday.
Leading voices in sport in South Africa have come together in a unique show of unity to plead for an end to the vicious cycle of xenophobic violence in the country.
Morné du Plessis said: “Laureus believes in using the power of sport to bring communities together and our first Patron, President Mandela, said: ‘Sport has the power to change the world, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.’”
The athlete-led initiative has been supported by a selection of South African sporting legends including Springboks captain Jean de Villiers, golfing legend Ernie Els and George Coetzee and top football coach Andre Villas-Boas.