Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has visited the bereaved families of those killed after criminal and vigilante acts, allegedly fuelled by racial tension, which claimed the lives about 20 people.
Among those killed during the violent incidents in Phoenix north of Durban was the family of Thulasizwe Nzimande 15 from eMawotwana, who died on July 13.
During his visit on Tuesday, Zikalala said the government was against what had happened in the province.
“A total of 22 people died, they did not get sick but died tragically after they were shot, stabbed and other vicious ways of being killed. Many say this was a massacre, this is because too many people died at once,” he said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala @sziks comforts bereaved families during a prayer held at Faith in Jesus Ministries church in Inanda.— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) July 20, 2021
Premier Zikalala was accompanied by members of the KZN Cabinet and a delegation from eThekwini Municipality #KZNRising #GrowingKZNTogether pic.twitter.com/yZkpKmWpG7
Zikalala said there were many signs of social ills in the community and unemployment, meaning many could be mobilised. That needed to be addressed urgently.
“Many black people were killed because of the colour of their skin, their cars were torched while others could not enter their homes because they were prevented from doing so.
“We express our condolences. May God give you strength. As government, we will offer support where we can, hence the local municipality and Social Development is here.
“We would like to assure you, as the families, that whoever is responsible for the killings will be brought to book. If people were looting, they were supposed to be arrested, not killed. We need to address the issue of racism. We promise that we are going to be with you.”
KZN Premier @sziks arrives at the Vilakazi home convey condolences following the death of Thulasizwe Vilakazi who was allegedly shot & stoned in Phoenix during the protests which gripped #KZNUnrest last week.@sziks was accompanied @DBE_KZN MEC @MshenguKwazi @eThekwiniM Speaker pic.twitter.com/6MUEzFxtST— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) July 20, 2021
Zikalala said that as part of rebuilding, the communities needed to be involved in two programmes – one of moral regeneration and social cohesion and the second a community in dialogue spearheaded by the Community Safety Department.
“What happened should be a lesson that this should not happen ever again; this is embarrassing.
“Let us work together to fight crime, we need to follow all cases and investigate why so many people were killed.”
Premier @sziks arrive to visit the Vilakazi family of a 11-year old boy in Nanda, he is among those killed during the violent incidents in Phoenix #GrowingKZNTogether #KZNRising #ProtectSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/8BEHQko3Ks— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) July 20, 2021
Zikalala said 23 people died in Phoenix, 13 were killed in Chatsworth, while others were killed In Pietermaritzburg. He confirmed that the total of people who were killed in KZN was 220.
Zikalala was accompanied by some members of the Provincial Executive Council and eThekwini Municipality leadership, among them KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu and KZN Legislature Speaker Weziwe Thusi.
As part of the visit, an engagement and prayer session was held at the Faith In Jesus Ministries Church, in White City, Inanda), with the families whose loved ones were murdered.
Ntwentle Mlongo, who met the premier, said her 19-year-old son, Sanele Mngomezulu, was one of the people killed in Phoenix last week. Mngomezulu had had big dreams to help improve the situation at home.
“My son was a very humble, respecting and loving human being. I am sad that he is dead, he finished his matric last year and he was doing odd jobs to help the family to survive. He had a dream to extend our house. I am going to miss him,” said Mhlongo.