Police Minister Bheki Cele has vowed to restore unity and peace in KwaZulu-Natal following the killing of more than 20 people in Phoenix, north of Durban. According to Cele those killed were from surrounding townships.

Cele addressed hundreds of angry community members in one of the bordering townships, Bhambhayi.

Earlier this week, widespread looting and destruction led to the flare-up of racial tensions.

In the past weeks, violence erupted in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, leaving businesses damaged and over 200 people dead.

Cele says a community team will be formed to help quell the violence.

“I can see people are angry and that you are obviously upset. I feel your justifiable pain. I’ve been hearing claims that I’ve been and spoken to the Phoenix community. No, I’ve never been there. I’m only going today. I’ve only been to their police station, I didn’t address the community.”

Cele added: “I would like to appeal to the community members of Bhambayi to form a task team that will focus on communicating with us. Please select people to meet with us regularly so we can update you because I can’t meet you every day, so please develop a committee – whether temporary or permanent – that will help unite the areas.”

Minister Cele meets with communities north of Durban: 

Meanwhile, Cele has promised to visit a number of townships on Saturday and meet with the task team members by this evening to provide their communities with feedback on his visit.

Cele has also promised to address Phoenix community members on Saturday and inform them that the law does not allow for people to barricade and block patrons from entering these areas.

“I will be going to Phoenix now and I want to tell the Phoenix members that there’s no law that allows people to block and barricade people and ask them for IDs and addresses, no one is above the law.”

Police Minister Bheki Cele to visit Phoenix on Saturday: