WATCH: IFP councillor warns police against raiding KwaMashu hostel to demand receipts for goods
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DURBAN - Amid threats that security forces would soon start raiding people’s homes and demand proof of purchase for goods, a councillor of the densely populated and crime-infested KwaMashu hostel in Durban has warned against the mooted move.
Sandile Gwala, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor in the hostel located in the north of Durban that is notorious for allegedly housing dangerous criminals and hitmen for the taxi industry, told a gathering of residents on Sunday that the police should instead focus on eradicating crime.
Gwala and Thami Ntuli, the chairperson of the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal, descended on the hostel to plead for tolerance after racial tensions boiled over when allegations emerged that some security companies owned by Indian residents of the nearby Phoenix community were indiscriminately killing African residents from the neighbouring townships of KwaMashu, Inanda and Ntuzuma and informal settlements such as Blackburn.
The killings, allegedly racially motivated, happened, it was claimed, under the guise of protecting homes and businesses during the looting spree that started last Sunday evening.
Speaking to the residents who came to listen to him and Ntuli at the crumbling Rotary stadium inside the hostel, Gwala said the police’s attention should now be on investigating on the death of people as so far, more than 25 African people in the area have died in the unrest.
“What is important right now, that’s why I have called my leaders (from the IFP) to tell the people to act on that matter. If the police fail to do their work and think there is some easy work like looking for slips, I don’t want that. Now some are claiming that I am calling for war when that’s not the case,” Gwala told the residents.
KwaMashu hostel ward councillor in Durban, Sandile Gwala, warns police against raiding the densely populated hostel to demand slips as proof of purchase, saying it will escalate tensions. Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Political Bureau
Gwala also warned the people of Durban against committing criminal acts and scaring people by claiming that hostel dwellers would join the fray. He said the hostel would never be used as a back-up for criminal acts.
Ntuli applauded Gwala for engaging with the community he leads, even when the leadership of the SAPS was failing to address long-standing concerns raised about the hostel and its security challenges.