The Provincial leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in KwaZulu-Natal will embark on a peaceful march of solidarity in Phoenix, north of Durban, Thursday, against those involved in criminal activities which saw 36 people killed during the recent unrest in Phoenix.
The level of violence was unparalleled, with the 30 square kilometer suburb accounting for nearly 10% of the 337 unrest-related deaths across South Africa.
According to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, most of those who were killed during the massacre were innocent people who were passing by Phoenix when the attempted looting and massacre started. The release of the full list followed a press conference by Police Minister Bheki Cele and Zikalala, which was held at Inanda police station in the north of Durban on Tuesday.
During the briefing, Cele announced that as there are still ongoing investigations, action will be taken at Phoenix police station and four private security companies from Phoenix are being investigated. The Phoenix SAPS has been in the spotlight after it emerged that four police officers from the station took all the illegal firearms confiscated during raids and distributed them to vigilante groups that staged illegal roadblocks under the guise of protecting their properties and businesses from looters.
“Detectives are investigating the role of private security firms in the violence. The response of the local SAPS to these events will also be looked into,” Cele said.
On Tuesday, the EFF posted that they planned to ‘march to Phoenix against racist Indians” which drew mixed reaction ranging from criticism from minority groups to support from those calling for justice for the victims and their families.
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader, John Steenhuisen, has written to the South African Human Right’s Commission in an effort to stop the EFF’s march on Phoenix.
Steenhuisen said the EFF’s march is an effort to further polarize racial tensions in the troubled area of Phoenix.
“The EFF thrives on racial division, and so it is very much in the party’s interest to fan the flames of localized incidents of racial tension where they exist. This is the very last thing the traumatized communities of Phoenix need right now,” said Steenhuisen in his letter.