There’s been a raging debate about what exactly happened in the historically Indian township of Phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal during last month’s unrest. Thirty-six people were reportedly killed there in what’s been categorised as an eruption of decades-long tension between black and Indian communities. Indian residents are accused of establishing community patrols designed to protect their neighbourhoods from looters but which allegedly racially profiled and barred black people from entering the neighbourhood even if they lived there. There are also allegations of violence and even killings.
So we’re pleased to see that the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities (CRL) is set to hold investigative hearings into the matter. This follows a march last week by hundreds of EFF members to the Phoenix police station calling for justice for victims of the “Phoenix massacre”.
The hearings start on 11 August at Durban’s Royal Hotel.
Police Minister Bheki Cele says 31 people have been arrested in connection with the Phoenix killings, and more arrests are expected.