230 flames of hope for missing girls: ANCWL

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Edna Molewa Independent Newspapers Edna Molewa. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi.

Johannesburg -

The ANC Women's League will campaign for the safe return of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, the league said on Monday.

“Abuse of women and children anywhere in the world must be confronted with every might at our disposal,” spokeswoman Edna Molewa said.

About 230 schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok in Nigeria's north-eastern state of Borno on April 14. Militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the act.

Molewa said the league's actions were inspired by its firm conviction that injustice anywhere in the world should not be tolerated.

“As the women's league, we are determined never to sit back or turn a blind eye while our girls' human rights are so blatantly and tragically violated,” Molewa said.

The league was committed to working with women and men's organisations to ensure solidarity with the people of Nigeria.

“We reiterate our call to all South Africans, Africans, and people across the world to sign our social solidarity petition to unite behind this cause and campaign,” she said.

The petition was available on the African National Congress and ANC Women's League website.

The league's leadership and ANC national executive committee members would also lead the process of lighting 230 candles at the Nigerian Embassy on Monday afternoon.

“The 230 flames of hope represent the number of missing children and will stay on until the safe return of our girls,”

“We urge all South African to join us every evening at the Nigerian Embassy,” she said.

Molewa called on South Africans and the people of the world to observe a moment of silence on Wednesday at 12pm, wherever they were.

“We urge all women of South Africa who gather every Thursday for their regular women prayer services to observe a special prayer service for the Nigerian girls,” she said.

Picketing has been planned from Wednesday to Friday at public buildings.

Student movements would also picket and march at various institutions of higher education.

“In addition, there will be candle-lighting at selected places that will serve as shrines. This programme will be led by Umkhamba Project,” Molewa said.

She urged women to use Africa Day to highlight the plight of Nigerian girls.

On June 1 the women, children and people with disabilities department would mark Children's Day to draw national and international attention to the plight of the Nigerian children. - Sapa



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