Families plead for justice for loved ones killed in Phoenix unrest

DURBAN – FAMILIES who have lost loved ones in last week’s unrest are pleading for justice. Nombuso Khoza’s 19-year-old grandson Sanele Mngomezulu was shot dead last week. He was one of 20 people killed in the area.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has led a delegation on a visit to grieving families. He also held a briefing at the local SAPS station.

Zikalala, along with KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, Transport, Community Safety, and Liaison MEC Neliswa Nkonyeni, and a delegation from the City led by Speaker Weziwe Thusi, met grieving families and shared messages of condolences.

At least 20 people were killed in clashes in the community last week. Rioting and looting played out across KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng following former president Jacob Zuma’s arrest.

Among the deceased is an 11-year-old boy from Inanda. Thulasizwe Nzimande was allegedly shot and stoned in Phoenix.

Previously reported that violence has engulfed the predominantly Indian community as armed community members have taken it upon themselves to defend the community, blockading entrance points and reportedly refusing black Africans entry to the township.

Last week, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area where he urged residents to remain calm.

eThekwini mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, has also appealed for calm.

Racial tension has been reported in several areas in the city, among them Phoenix, Durban North, Hillcrest, Montclair and Isipingo.

“We understand that these barricades were erected to protect properties and businesses around the City,” Kaunda said.

“That must be commended. However, we cannot sustain barricades because they are beginning to spark racial tensions among residents.”

Kaunda said authorities were not calling on residents to stop monitoring the situation or stop being vigilant.

“However, you must work with the police to assess the security risk and work out a plan that is within the ambit of the law, like obtaining guidelines for establishing a vehicle checkpoint from the relevant station commander before setting it up.”

Kaunda encouraged community leaders to facilitate dialogues to promote social cohesion among residents.

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