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KZN unrest: Court cases to be held in camera, police still have to conduct ID parades

A CROWD gathered outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court where 10 people were appearing, following a spate of incidents in the wake of the unrest in KZN. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

A CROWD gathered outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court where 10 people were appearing, following a spate of incidents in the wake of the unrest in KZN. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 26, 2021

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DURBAN: Ten people have appeared in the Verulam Magistrate's Court on charges related to the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago.

Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in KZN Natasha Kara said the 10 face charges of murder, attempted murder, possession of stolen property, malicious injury to property, unlawful possession of firearms, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

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"The matters were held in camera, to protect the identity of the accused persons, as identity parades are yet to be conducted," she said.

Kara said the matters were remanded to Friday for bail consideration.

In KZN, at least 251 people were killed in unrest, while in Gauteng 79 people lost their lives.

In his weekly letter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the ongoing tension in Phoenix.

He said while much has to be unearthed about the events that took place, the sharing of fake news made it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

"But we do know from official reports and personal accounts that people were racially profiled at illegal roadblocks, some people were pulled out of cars and beaten, and some were humiliated and degraded. Several people were killed. Much of what has happened is the inevitable outcome when people take the law into their own hands. Vigilantism will not be tolerated in this country. It is criminal and it is dangerous," Ramaphosa said.

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He said now that calm has been restored, police and law enforcement agencies are looking into all acts of criminality.

"A team of detectives has been assigned to deal with the murders and are working closely with local communities. There have been arrests and those responsible will face the full might of the law," he said.

Ramaphosa added that the events in Phoenix are a painful reminder of how much work is still needed to build inclusive communities, that have successfully broken down the boundaries of the past.

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"These events also demonstrate how determined some people are to divide us, and how we need to do everything we can to resist them," the President said.

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