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Pretoria - Members of the Egyptian community in Pretoria gathered at Cairo’s embassy for a peaceful demonstration on Sunday with the message that the people of the North African country supported the removal of Mohamed Morsi as president.
They called for an end to violence and for democratic elections in Egypt. They also paid homage to all the “martyrs” who had died since the beginning of the year.
On Friday, a different group of people had gathered outside the Egyptian embassy with a different message - one of support for the Muslim Brotherhood and asking that Morsi, a leader of the party, be released and reinstated.
Mahmoud Shehata, who has lived in South Africa since 1994, said on Sunday the group had gathered to support the revolution, saying Morsi had not been removed in a coup. He said he didn’t understand why other countries were interfering in the affairs of Egypt.
“Here we are, all Egyptians, and we are all in support of the interim government. We support the road map to restore democracy.”
The demonstrators paid homage to all Egyptians who had died, and blamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood for the violence.
“We have come here in support of the removal of the tyrant. We are totally against religious dictatorship. Before, we had (Hosni) Mubarak’s military dictatorship, but it is heaven compared to religious dictatorship. Hopefully the new elections will produce a civilian government,” said Shehata.
“We hope that in the near future we will have presidential elections, with a new government and president elected in a democratic way.”
According to Shehata, most of the people who demonstrated at the embassy on Friday were not Egyptian. He said they were Ethiopians, Somalis, Pakistanis, Muslims and South Africans.
Shehata said about 300 of them had arrived in buses on Friday. They were protesting against the “coup” and wanted Morsi to continue as president. Many of them were Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Shehata said.
Another Egyptian, Adel Demian, who has lived in South Africa since 1994, agreed with Shehata, saying that he wanted to see a peaceful Egypt. Demian said Morsi had divided Egypt.