Calm returns to Durban after Zwelethini's speech - police

2015-04-20 17:38
(Jeff Wicks, News24)

(Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Durban - Calm seemed to have returned to the KwaZulu-Natal city of Durban on Monday afternoon after King Goodwill Zwelithini called for peace at an imbizo earlier in the day, police said.

Spokesperson Thulani Zwane said hundreds of officers remained on high alert.

“We have deployed our members strategically to areas where there have been flare-ups of violent attacks and up to this point we have had no reports of incidents,” he said.

“Our deployment plan will remain the same and we will closely monitor the situation, but so far after the king addressed the people it has been very quiet,” he said.

Hundreds of Public Order Policing Unit officers from all corners of the country have been stationed in Durban in an effort to quell a groundswell of xenophobic violence that has gripped the province over the past three weeks.

The king’s imbizo came after the death toll rose to seven and thousands of foreign nationals were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in transit camps on opposite ends of the city.

"It was important for me to intervene because this was a crisis," he told a crowd at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Zwelithini said in the past 44 years as king he had learnt a lot about respecting elders.

"If you want to be respected on day as a leader, you need to learn to be a good listener.

"I am speaking today as your father. I want to thank Amakhosi and Izinduna for coming out at such short notice."

Addressing the Amakhosi and Izinduna, the king said he wanted them to be his eyes and ears on the ground in the communities.

"There are swear words being written about me and you my people. To you, my people, I am saying just let it go... Let us bury the hatchet. Some are saying that I should be prosecuted, I don't know why I should be prosecuted because I have not committed any crime."

He urged everyone to work together for peace and allow law enforcement agencies to deal with those who broke the law.

"We are a nation of peace. We know what it is like to be at war, we don't want that. Peace must prevail.

"From today, I have sent Amakhosis out into their communities to talk to their communities to treat foreign nationals right."

Read more on:    king goodwill zwelethini  |  durban ­  |  xenophobia

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