KwaZulu-Natal premier calls on communities to stop racial conflicts

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KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala has called on communities that are known to have racial tensions to be tolerant.

Zikalala, who was delivering the keynote address at the provincial heritage day event in Raisethorpe, Pietermaritzburg, on Saturday said the aim was to see different racial groups that are in conflict live together in perfect harmony.

He was speaking in light of violence that took place during the unrest in July which was believed to have been racially motivated.

During the unrest shacks in Khan Road were set alight and a woman died. The matter is in court. People were also killed in Phoenix in what is believed to be vigilante attacks.

Zikalala said the provincial government wanted to see justice served in both matters.

“We are here today following that tragic incident that happened here which led to or cost us the lives of four people in Northdale, but also in Phoenix and Chatsworth,” said Zikalala.”

He said what had happened in Phoenix was heartbreaking.

“We were truly heartbroken to see the violence that was directed at poor black people.

“No less than four people lost their lives, once more we convey our deepest sympathies to those families who lost their loved ones in the unacceptable way of violence,” said Zikalala.

He said he was aware that a meeting had taken place on Thursday where challenges facing the Northdale area had been discussed.

“We believe that the meeting should not be the last, it should not only stop at preparing for Heritage Day but it must look at how we ensure that communities live together and are socialised as communities who share a vision.

He said he hoped he would see the establishment of a peace and development committee comprising of Northdale residents from both areas where there was conflict.

“As we said about Phoenix we want to see programmes where schools in Phoenix work with schools from Amaoti and Inanda on education programmes and uplift each other,” said Zikalala.

He further called on different racial groups to be tolerant and to avoid violence.

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