eThekwini municipality slams 'racist' comments at march against Phoenix killings
The eThekwini municipality on Friday denounced “racist remarks” that were made at the City Hall by a group protesting against the recent killings in Phoenix.
“One of the many racial utterances made by the disgruntled group are related to the recent killings in Phoenix. eThekwini subscribes to the provisions of the Freedom Charter, which stipulates, among other things, that 'South Africa belongs to all who live in it'.
“The city understands frustrations that are a result of the recent unrest. It acknowledges that these unfortunate incidents have to a certain extent reversed the gains of social cohesion programmes carried out by the city with other spheres of government,” said municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.
He was referring to remarks made outside City Hall on Thursday when a coalition of civic groups under the banner #JusticeForPhoenixMassacreVictims marched against the killings in Phoenix, north of Durban, during the unrest two weeks ago.
A video circulating on social media shows the convener of the march, Jackie Shandu, shouting, “One settler, one bullet. One Indian, one bullet,” to the gathering, who repeat the remarks.
“The city distances itself from any individuals or groups that are hell bent on polarising society and that seek to use violence to resolve issues. All issues raised by marchers will receive attention from the city leadership,” said Mayisela.
Shandu told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE that the comments needed to be “interpreted within the context of the pain, trauma and anger.
“I know there were some statements that one would say are not necessary or helpful in terms of healing. These are very deep wounds. We will deal with that as and when the time is right. SA needs to understand and acknowledge the hurt and pain we are feeling. We have not killed anybody.
“A huge priority should be in terms of real solidarity with people who were massacred. People are more interested in the wrong remarks when the priority should be with the massacre. We can deal with what was said in a moment of heated anger and pain ...
“Certain remarks were uncalled for. We are happy to deal with that, but we are saying let's deal with it but not in isolation. We must deal with it in context.”
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.