South African media reported this week that mortuaries in Phoenix, an area predominantly inhabited by the Indian minority ethnic group, had been overwhelmed after more than 300 bodies were brought in. Most remained unclaimed by relatives.
Senior members of South Africa’s ruling party have called for charges over the alleged killings of some 300 people by private security guards during protests against the former president’s jailing.
Leading African National Congress (ANC) members in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province also called for former president Jacob Zuma to be freed from the Estcourt prison, where he began a 15-month sentence for contempt of court imposed by the Constitutional Court.
Around 100 members of ANC branches in the eThekwini metro municipality marched or dove in a motorcade to the the party’s provincial offices in central Durban in Friday to present a memorandum of demands to leaders over recent violence in the town of Phoenix, some 15 miles northwest of the city.
Ntando Khuzwayo, a spokesman for provincial legislator Zandile Gumede, delivered the statement to ANC KZN Provincial Working Committee member Kwazi Mshengu — who is also the education chief on the KZN Provincial Executive Council (PEC).
It said “racists” had “used the recent unrest to kill our people, deny them access to shops and in some cases have stopped them from going home”. Khuzwayo called the violence “worse than the apartheid Group Areas Act which relied on barbaric ethnic polarisation”.