Police Minister Bheki Cele says 152 firearms have been seized from four private security companies who allegedly worked in Phoenix north of Durban during the time of the unrest.

Cele who was addressing the media in Durban confirmed that a total of 36 people lost their lives in Phoenix as the result of racial tensions.

The police minister has also given the assurance that government is giving the issue of Phoenix the urgent attention that it deserves.

He says since the violence started, 112 additional illegal firearms have also been seized from various individuals around the area during police operations.

“There are 152 firearms that belong to companies, but beyond that, there are 112 that have been found, seized around Phoenix since this time started. The seizure of these firearms is within the law of the Firearms Control Act. The firearms have been sent for ballistic analysis,” says Cele.

In the stream below, Cele provides an update on the Phoenix violence matter: 

March for peace

On Sunday, members of the Phoenix community marched for peace and unity under the All Lives Matter Campaign.

Residents denounced racism and all forms of violence, and crime.

The community handed over a memorandum to the local police station with a list of demands. They want the police to ensure the safety of all residents, and that all those who incite violence and fear be prosecuted.

Unresolved anger, trauma 

Director of the International Centre of Non-violence at the Durban University of Technology Crispin Hemson says unresolved anger and trauma could be the cause of what is currently happening in Phoenix, northwest of Durban.

Fears are mounting that the rising racial tensions in the area could result in clashes between police and angry protesters.

Hemson says the authorities should investigate the source of the anger and trauma.

“What we actually need is to create a space where people do not waste time saying we love each other, we are all non-racial here. I think that kind of language is probably worse than doing nothing.”

“What we are doing is that we are asking you to forget what is sitting in your head and in your heart. Rather let’s hear – what are your feelings and if you are feeling angry, we need to know why you are feeling angry. Where do the anger and fear come from,” adds Hemson.

-Additional reporting by Jayed-Leigh Paulse