‘Big step’ taken towards peace at hostel



Published Sep 25, 2014


Durban - Political intervention could see the end of illegal evictions and assassinations at the violence-stricken Glebelands hostel in uMlazi.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala told the Daily News a “big step” had been taken to resolve the issues at the hostel, amid calls by activists and hostel dwellers for a political solution to the ongoing violence.

Yesterday, activist group R2K held a picket at uMlazi’s MegaCity shopping district.

Campaigner Mthembeni Thusi said the first move to end violence at the hostel would be for police to confiscate all illegal firearms, which he claimed were used in the recent spate of shootings.

“Killing each other will not bring a solution to the problem. Since March more than 100 dwellers have been illegally evicted and 16 people killed in the hostel.”

Zikalala said earlier that the ANC had resolved that premier Senzo Mchunu and Public Safety MEC Willies Mchunu “should put their heads together and resolve the hostel issues”.

“Both the premier and the MEC agreed a task team should investigate all the murders committed at the hostel. It is up to the two to decide when the investigation should kick in.”

Zikalala said the call by residents and community activists to pull uMlazi police out of the hostel would be attended to.

MEC Mchunu’s spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said on Wednesday the MEC, premier and eThekwini municipality officials would address hostel residents on Sunday on the steps taken to resolve differences among residents. “We are optimistic that the intervention will bring peace in the area.”

Asked if local police deployed at the hostel would be pulled out soon, Ncalane said that information would also be communicated on Sunday.

Community activist Vanessa Burger said it was promising to hear that the authorities were at last taking action to address hostel violence.

“We hope they will address the corruption allegations, illegal evictions and assassinations carried out by one faction against the other. We hope they will also touch on the need for counselling for all the families affected by the violence.”

Said R2K’s Thusi: “We hope that the visit by the government on Sunday will bring calm and motivate the warring factions to sit down and talk about their differences.”

Daily News

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