President Cyril Ramaphosa updating Parliament on a range of issues of national importance. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa updating Parliament on a range of issues of national importance. Picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Cyril Ramaphosa defends Bheki Cele against accusations of fanning racial tensions in KZN

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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Cape Town President Cyril Ramaphosa has shot down claims by the official opposition that Police Minister Bheki Cele was fanning racial tensions in Phoenix during the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal in July.

Ramaphosa, answering questions in Parliament, said everything was being done to ensure stability in the province and in Gauteng.

He said contrary to what the official opposition was saying, Cele had played a role in uniting all communities in Phoenix, Zwelisha, Bhambayi and other surrounding areas.

He said racial tensions had simmered down after Cele appointed two deputy ministers to work with the affected communities.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has accused Cele of fanning racial tensions between indians and Africans in Phoenix, and surrounding communities.

But Ramaphosa said when he was in KZN during the unrest Cele was meeting with the communities.

“I know for a fact Minister Cele was visiting Phoenix and surrounding areas a number of times. He has been engaging them to ensure tensions are quietened down. He has done admirable work and this work has been taken forward by Deputy Minister Mafu and Deputy Minister Jeffrey,” said Ramaphosa.

He said he was not aware of Cele having fanned tensions in the area.

Ramaphosa also said that government was helping businesses that were affected by the violence and looting in July in both KZN and Gauteng.

He said government was providing the necessary support for those who had been on the receiving end of the violence.

He said they hoped to get the country back on its feet after the unrest.

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Political Bureau

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