Political parties ‘dividing’ Phoenix residents with constant visits since July unrest
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DURBAN - COMMUNITY members in Phoenix have mixed feelings on the political activities that have been unfolding in the area since the July unrest.
Phoenix has become one of the busiest communities in the province as it is frequented by political parties after the July unrest when dozens of African people were stabbed and killed by vigilantes who claimed they were protecting their community from looters.
On Monday, the Daily News spoke to some local leaders and community members who expressed their feelings about the tensions between black and Indian residents.
Bus driver Mdumiseni Sibiya expressed his distrust in some residents who encouraged violence and targeted Africans.
Political parties must continue flocking to Phoenix until those who killed people showed remorse, he said.
“My blood boils when I think of what happened in Phoenix. I can’t believe the same people we treated as our brothers did what they did. I am angry because at the end of the day they are the same as us and not better than us,” said Sibiya.
Sarjoni Govender said it was not only in Phoenix where people had their own views with regards to the July violence, adding that some parties were sowing divisions in the area.
“The dust of unrest had settled until some political party with no good story to tell the people, decided to thrive on sensational news in dividing the blacks and Indians. They have done that in the apartheid system of having beaches and hospitals for whites only.”
Activist Patrick Pillay said Phoenix was a vibrant multiracial, multicultural and multilingual community and racism was never an issue in the area.
“The community has welcomed political party canvassing during this election.
“However, Phoenix community members are very angry with some parties for their irresponsible, political immaturity of politicking the July unrest and for them wanting to shift the focus of their pathetic non-service delivery during the past five years.
“The Phoenix community is made up of peaceful, loving people who do not care about political parties politicking.
“Living in peace and harmony is their priority. Political parties will leave after the elections but the people will remain to pick up the pieces.
“We are consistently encouraging the community to participate in all social cohesion programmes and initiatives of the government and private sector. People have already made up their minds about the election and are patiently waiting to vote on November 1,” said Pillay.
A security guard who asked for his identity not to be disclosed said those who were involved in executing violence against black people were now being protected by the residents.
“Some of the people I know never returned to work after what we saw. I am happy political parties continue to come, this should help restore peace and ensure that those who did this realise the amount of damage they did.”
On Monday IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi visited Phoenix.