Phoenix unrest claimed 36 lives - Police Minister Bheki Cele

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Police Minister Bheki Cele along with KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala at the Inanda Police Station on Tuesday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele along with KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala at the Inanda Police Station on Tuesday.
Netwerk24
  • Police Minister Bheki Cele said recent unrest in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal claimed 36 lives.
  • Of the 36 people who were killed, 30 were shot and 2 were burnt.
  • So far, 22 people have been arrested on various charges.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the recent unrest in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal claimed the lives of 36 people.

Along with KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, Cele briefed the media on Tuesday on law enforcement and social cohesion interventions in the suburb.

"The events in Phoenix, which I have outlined, have claimed the lives of 36 people," he said at the briefing.

READ | #UnrestSA: 'Political paralysis' at heart of violence and looting, experts say

He added that police investigations showed that 30 of those who were killed were shot, two were burnt to death, one was stabbed and one was run over. "Two others died from the brutal injuries they sustained after being assaulted," he added.

Provincial police are investigating 52 cases of attempted murder, nine cases of common assault and 16 cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) along with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira) have confiscated 152 illegal firearms from four private security companies working in the Phoenix area.

"One hundred and twelve illegal firearms have also been seized during police operations in Phoenix," Cele said.

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

Zikalala said said crimes were committed by a small group of people in the communities, who cut across all races, classes and religions. So far, 22 people have been arrested on various charges.

"As provincial government, we are clear that the majority of the people of KwaZulu-Natal are not looters. By the same token, we are clear that the majority of the people of KZN are not criminals," he said.

"...in Phoenix, Inanda, Bhambayi, Zwelitsha, KwaMashu, Amaoti and surrounding areas we have seen the worst of these crimes, including murder, being committed in the name of protecting the community," Zikalala added.

In an effort to bring social cohesion to KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial government hosted the Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration summit on 28 July.

Zikalala said that through arts, culture, sports and socio-economic development, they would bring together all the communities in KZN as they seek to build a united non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous province.

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