Zikalala on Phoenix killings: All perpetrators have to be arrested
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Durban - One person has been arrested in Phoenix, Durban and KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has promised more arrests after 22 people were killed in the area last week.
Zikalala, speaking to the media on Monday after receiving a briefing from police at the Phoenix police station on the cases and the investigations, said about 22 people were killed in Phoenix in violent acts of crime and alleged racist incidents and 16 others were killed around Verulam last week.
Earlier on Monday, Zikalala addressed the media after meeting the bereaved families said perpetrators who killed black people from Bhambayi, eMawoti, Zwelisha and other informal settlements near Verulam would be arrested.
Outside the Phoenix Police Station he reiterated that investigations were ongoing.
“All perpetrators who killed the victims have to be arrested. We are pleased that there is already a move now that one person was arrested. There are many cases and they should all be investigated. There are those that spread pictures and videos which form part of fake news on social media; we say they must refrain from that because they instil fear — that is wrong. All those who do it will be investigated and then arrested,” said Zikalala.
He said one arrest was good but police must make sure they arrest more suspects.
He said police who are part of Police Minister Bheki Cele’s task team of investigators had confirmed that they were busy investigating the cases.
“What is not sitting well with us is that most of those people who were killed were killed on the main road, which should not be blocked by anyone. No one has ownership of the road because it’s used to drive past Phoenix. Police have confirmed that while they investigate the cases in Phoenix they are also investigating cases from Verulam and surrounding areas after community engagements,” Zikalala said.
He added that police and the communities, as part of rebuilding or going forward, needed to be involved in programmes of moral regeneration and social cohesion and the community in a dialogue programme spearheaded by the Community Safety Department.
The families of the victims were unhappy with the slow progress of the investigation.
One of the victims was Sanele Mngomezulu, who was 19 years old. His mother, Ntwenhle Mhlongo, said she was upset as the perpetrators who killed their loved ones were known to the community.