The Sowetan, 29 May 2008

PLEASE NOTE: Readers wishing to reproduce and reference this article
should contact the editors of the The Sowetan for permission

First National Bank has donated R2 million to the SA Red Cross Society, the Salvation Army and Doctors Without Borders to assist victims of the recent xenophobic attacks, it said on Thursday. "... I implore all those behind this wave of xenophobic attacks to lay down their arms and embrace peace. "Many of our employees and customers are in countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia -- these being among the countries from which some of the victims of xenophobia hail," said FNB chief executive Michael Jordaan. Unveiling the relief package, Jordaan said a small minority should not be allowed to derail South Africa from hosting Africa’s first ever Fifa World Cup soccer tournament. FNB is the Official National Supporter of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Jordaan said he hoped the soccer spectacular would have a unifying power and help to overcome the divisions. "I appeal to those behind this human suffering not to throw away the Constitution, for it embodies the values by which all of us should live and enshrines our hard-earned liberties -- in particular the right to life. "This precious Constitution of ours makes the unequivocal statement that South Africa belongs to all those who live in it, united in our diversity. What better way to harness this diversity than by embracing our African brothers and sisters," said Jordaan. He added that authorities could have done more to prevent the attacks.