PREMIER of KZN Sihle Zikalala with members of the executive committee and religious leader Bishop Rubin Phillip, at a peace march in Phoenix, in September. Picture: Jehran Naidoo Independent Media.
PREMIER of KZN Sihle Zikalala with members of the executive committee and religious leader Bishop Rubin Phillip, at a peace march in Phoenix, in September. Picture: Jehran Naidoo Independent Media.

Phoenix peace monument to be erected

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

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Durban – A monument, in remembrance of the 36 people who lost their lives during the civil unrest and looting, in July, will be erected in Phoenix, Durban.

The monument will be erected in December by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government in efforts to build sustainable social cohesion between residents of the area, and to ease racial tension.

The monument will bear the names of all the victims that died during the unrest. A peace garden will also be built in Phoenix, Premier Sihle Zikalala said, during the provincial executive council’s meeting on Wednesday.

With the local government elections looming, the area of Phoenix came under the spotlight again this week, as political parties battled over posters that were strung up alongside the Phoenix highway.

The posters, which were put up by the DA, read: “The ANC called you racists. The DA calls you heroes”.

The DA in KZN said the election posters were meant to honour those who stood up to protect their property during the unrest, but the ANC immediately condemned the posters, calling the DA a racist and fascist organisation.

Leader of the DA John Steenhuisen defended the posters in Midrand on Wednesday, telling members of the media that the residents who stood up did not retreat like the police, but defended their livelihoods.

Provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said it was political hypocrisy of the highest order, and called on Indians in Durban to work with the ANC.

“We call on the Indian community, particularly in Phoenix and Chatsworth, and all the surrounding areas, to see for themselves that the DA is clearly a racist organisation,” Ntombela said.

The KZN executive council also condemned the “opportunistic” DA move and has assigned the MEC for Education and Champion of eThekwini Metro Kwazi Mshengu, to intervene and foster social cohesion.

“The executive council calls upon the communities to resist all those who are using these unfortunate events to further divide the community or to make political capital out of the misery of the people.

“Sowing divisions and tensions to garner votes is an act of political selfishness, which undermines the victims’ pain and the efforts at peace, led by right-thinking members of the community and government. The executive council reiterates its position that there are no votes that are worth jumping over the corpses of our people for,” it said.

Political Bureau

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