Zikalala raises concern over slow pace of investigations into July unrest instigators
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DURBAN - Premier Sihle Zikalala has said the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is not happy with the slow progress being made in the cases against the alleged perpetrators of the July unrest and looting.
The unrest, which claimed the lives of 360 people, broke out following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court. Looting and destruction of businesses across various sectors was widespread, with damage running into billions of rand.
With three months having passed since the violence, questions have been posed about the lack of progress in the criminal cases against the instigators.
Responding to a question posed about the issue during a media briefing on Wednesday, Zikalala said the provincial government was not happy with the slow progress in dealing with the perpetrators of the violence and looting.
He added that the government was continuously engaging with police so that these investigations could be expedited. He said the government would continue to follow up with the police to ensure that those who are responsible, are held accountable.
Zikalala also said he was disappointed with certain political parties’ use of the racially motivated violence in Phoenix during the unrest for their campaigns, labelling it as being “wrong and inhumane”.
While the premier did not mention the DA specifically, it is believed he was referring to the posters put up by the DA in Phoenix which read: ‘The ANC called you racist, The DA calls you heroes’.
The DA subsequently received massive backlash over the posters, and took them down last week.
Zikalala said the government wanted to applaud civil society, which had worked with it to stabilise the Phoenix area and to bring racial groups together.
He said a number of programmes would be held in the area to build social cohesion. In December there will be an unveiling of a monument in remembrance of the 36 people who lost their lives in Phoenix.