South Africans launch signature campaign to support Delhi anti-rape campaign



Johannesburg: India-origin South Africans have launched a signature campaign for a petition in support of the thousands of protesters in New Delhi in wake of the gang-rape and brutal murder of a 23-year-old girl.

The petition will be handed over to the Indian Consul-General in Johannesburg on January 8.

"Watching the huge crowds on satellite TV channels, my friend Jitu Patel and I felt that we could not just stand by and watch and felt that there must be many more local and expatriate Indians who would want to show some kind of solidarity with the tens of thousands protesting in Delhi", businessman Hitesh Bhakta said here.

"So we started collecting signatures three days ago for the Memorandum to be sent to the Prime Minister of India to show our support. The response has been quite overwhelming and we have several hundred signatures already," he told PTI.

Nisaa Institute for Women's Empowerment, started by a group of South African Indian women here to assist women who suffer abuse, has also extended its support to Bhaklta.

"Having just emerged from South Africa's annual 16 Days of Activism against Violence on Women and Children in December, we identify with and empathise with the people of India in their massive call to action from the Indian government in this matter," said the institute's Director Zubeda Dangor.

"The eyes of South Africans and indeed the world are on the Indian government to see the result of the action taken in this matter by the Government of the largest democracy on the globe," added Dangor.

PTI