DA calls for accountability in police top brass over large scale violence and looting
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DURBAN - The emergence of vigilantism in Phoenix and the killing of innocent people is a reflection of failed policing and the police’s top brass including Minister Bheki Cele should be held accountable.
This is the view of DA KZN leader Francois Rodgers during a wide ranging interview with The Mercury yesterday. He dismissed suggestions the party had been silent on the killings in the area in which it enjoys significant support.
“We were among the first parties to publicly condemn what was happening in Phoenix. I do not know how loud we have to be. The question we should be asking on the matter is: where were the police,” said Rodgers.
The inactivity by the police in many parts of the province, he added, raised suspicion and this was the reason a probe should be conducted regarding the conduct of the police.
He said they would continue to monitor the situation in the area through their public representatives.
“From the moment the riots started I gave instructions to our members, especially those in public office, to be on the ground with the people and help in bringing about order and calm across KZN,” Rodgers said.
He commended the leadership from Kokstad under mayor Bheki Mtolo, who with community members and businesses, moved to protect their town, saying other ANC leaders should have followed suit as this would have helped in preventing the destruction.
“Nothing was damaged in Kokstad and that is the kind of responsible leadership that should be provided everywhere.”
While noting the mayhem that had been brought about by the riots, the DA leader said he had been encouraged by the sense of common purpose demonstrated by communities across racial lines in protecting their areas against criminal elements.
The aftermath of the riots, Rogers said, provided an opportunity for the leadership to identify the source of what happened and formulate an action plan to ensure the events that unfolded did not happen again.