Phoenix unrest: Three murder accused identified as activist retracts inflammatory remarks

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Chanté Schatz, News24
  • Ten people linked to the recent unrest in Durban have appeared in court, including three men accused of murder in Phoenix.
  • Premier Sihle Zikalala condemned a video on social media platforms of a march against the Phoenix killings, which incited violence.
  • According to the Justice for Phoenix Victims movement, the inflammatory remarks made at the march have been retracted.

The National Prosecuting Authority has released the identities of ten suspects linked to the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago.

The accused made their second appearance at the Verulam Magistrate's Court on Friday on various charges.

NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said that Dylan Govender, 29, is facing a murder and attempted murder charge, while Ned Govender, 30, and Jeetendra Jaikissoon, 39, are each facing a murder charge.

"They were remanded in custody until Tuesday, 3 August 2021 for a formal bail application," Kara added.

Justin Hira, 32, Seelan Chetty, 24, Owen Chinnasamy, 23, and Vernon Philip Govender, 21, Brenton Callen Shunmogam, 25, and Mirandin Kaylyn Reddy, 26, have been charged with cases ranging from possession of prohibited firearms and possession of drugs, to attempted murder and malicious injury to property. 

They were also remanded in custody until Wednesday, 4 August 2021 for formal bail application.

Kara said Alfonzo Naidoo, 23, was previously granted bail of R2 000. 

READ: Phoenix unrest: Survivors speak of violence and pain, leaders call for peace and justice for victims

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala condemned a video circulating on social media platforms which incited violence against particular race groups.

According to the premier's office, in the video, march participants can be heard repeatedly shouting: “One Settler, One Bullet” and “One Indian, One Bullet”.

"We strongly condemn any form of hate speech that intends to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence against anyone based on race, ethnicity, national origin or religion," Zikalala said.

He stressed that irresponsible statements and polarising behaviour will push citizens further apart and erode the positive gains made by the democratic government.

In response to Zikalala's statement, the Justice for Phoenix Massacre Victims movement said it is aware of Action SA's statement where they claimed they will be launching a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), as well as the Democratic Alliance, which planned to open a police case.

"Firstly, the Justice for Phoenix Massacre Victims want to state categorically that our movement is anti-racist and does not condone violence," Justice for Phoenix Massacre Victims spokesperson Phezukonke Mthethwa said.

He added that the movement was established to fight the act of racism that occurred in Phoenix and other Indian communities.

"... Jackie Shandu, has consciously and voluntarily withdrawn his remarks of ‘One Settler, One Bullet, One Indian, One Bullet’ unconditionally," Mthethwa added.

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