Police Minister Bheki Cele says a team of detectives has been assigned to investigate the deaths of more than 20 people in Phoenix, Durban.
Cele visited the community again in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, where he lambasted the public for taking the law into their own hands during the recent violent looting spree. Over the past week, looting and vandalism caused racial tensions in the area.
Cele has condemned the looting but added that it cannot justify the killing of suspects.
“It’s illegal for private security, citizens just like myself, I can’t be asking for your ID. I can’t do that. I can’t be asking you to open the boot, it can’t happen. It is even worse if the criteria is the colour and that has been a lot even here and in Durban North. There are people that are saying they can’t go to the mortuaries, they are blocked here in Phoenix to identify their dead ones so now they can’t bury them. You can’t hate people even when they are dead.”
Minister Cele addresses the Phoenix community in KwaZulu-Natal:
Police Minister Bheki Cele has vowed to restore unity and peace in KwaZulu-Natal.
Cele says a community team will be formed to help quell the violence.
“I can see people are angry and that you are obviously upset. I feel your justifiable pain. I’ve been hearing claims that I’ve been and spoken to the Phoenix community. No, I’ve never been there. I’m only going today. I’ve only been to their police station, I didn’t address the community.”
Cele added: “I would like to appeal to the community members of Bhambayi to form a task team that will focus on communicating with us. Please select people to meet with us regularly so we can update you because I can’t meet you every day, so please develop a committee – whether temporary or permanent – that will help unite the areas.”
Minister Cele meets with communities north of Durban: