WATCH | Heavy police presence as suspects appear in connection with Phoenix unrest

Family and friends of men who were arrested in connection with violence in Phoenix during civil unrest in KZN hold a demonstration outside the Verulam magistrate's court on Monday.
Family and friends of men who were arrested in connection with violence in Phoenix during civil unrest in KZN hold a demonstration outside the Verulam magistrate's court on Monday.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

A large police and army presence was on high alert outside the Verulam magistrate's court on Monday, where seven people who were arrested in Phoenix on Friday after civil unrest in the province are expected to appear.

A crowd of supporters from Phoenix arrived carrying boards and signs that read “All lives matter” and “No to racism”. 

Alice Govender, family media spokesperson for two of the suspects, whom she would only identify by their first names, Owen and Seelan, said they had come to show support for their loved ones.

Govender said the two men had not been charged with anything relating to the murders.

“Today we have supporters, friends and family from our community of Phoenix. We are here to see that Seelan and Owen are granted bail. There is no charge that we know of that has been opened against them and I think that it's quite unfair what is unfolding and happening to them,” she said.

Another protester, Nkulu Ngwenya, who claimed his vehicle was damaged last week by Phoenix residents for “no apparent reason”, said he'd come to ensure that those responsible were made to pay.

Ngwenya said he was driving back to his KwaMashu home from the Phoenix Plaza when his bakkie was stoned near the shopping centre.

“They were swearing and shouting at me to stop my car, but as soon as they threw stones at my car I decided to ignore them and left.

“The police presence here is really unnecessary, in my opinion. Even the army is carrying weapons as if they are going to war.”

He said the police failed to help when the communities were under fire.

This is a developing story. 

TimesLIVE


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