Ntwentle Mlongo’s 19-year-old son, Sanele Mngomezulu was one of the people killed in Phoenix last week. Mngomezulu had big dreams to help improve the situation at home. Picture: Ntombi Nkosi/IOL Politics
Ntwentle Mlongo’s 19-year-old son, Sanele Mngomezulu was one of the people killed in Phoenix last week. Mngomezulu had big dreams to help improve the situation at home. Picture: Ntombi Nkosi/IOL Politics

LOOK: KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala visits families of those killed in Phoenix

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Jul 20, 2021

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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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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