Effort to cool troubled area

RESIDENTS of the troubled Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban have vowed to live in peace after two people were killed last week.

RESIDENTS of the troubled Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban have vowed to live in peace after two people were killed last week.

The residents met with the police, eThekwini municipality management, community leaders and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu at a community hall yesterday.

The move was a last-ditch effort to bring about peace and to ensure that normality returns to the area.

The residents said ethnicity and xenophobia were rife and accused the Sydenham police of failing to act on information about threats of attacks.

But Mchunu dismissed these allegations, saying the perpetrators of violence were criminals.

Mchunu assured residents that their concerns about the Sydenham police station would be addressed.

He also announced the appointment of a task team to investigate allegations of misconduct by police to thunderous applause.

Head of housing in the municipality Nigel Gumede said there were concerns about people blocking development in the area.

"We feel that we won't be able to meet the goal to eradicate slums here by 2014," he said.

"There are people who have become landlords or shack lords and make money."

Gumede also expressed concern about the number of illegal shebeens in the area.

Eight people were arrested after the murders in the area and they have appeared in court.

Provincial head of detectives Commissioner Patrick Brown said the area is under 24-hour police surveillance.

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