Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has written to the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission in an attempt to stop the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) planned march in Phoenix, north of Durban, tomorrow.

Steenhuisen says the march is clearly aimed at whipping up anti-Indian sentiment. The EFF’s planned march comes in the wake of the recent looting and violence, as well as vigilante incidents that resulted in racial tensions in the area.

About 36 people were killed in Phoenix during the unrest three weeks ago.

Steenhuisen says the EFF’s aim is to stir up racial tensions and inflame violence between Black and Indian residents.

“This kind of destructive racial provocation is all the EFF offers in the way of political discourse and it cannot be allowed to take hold. What we need in KZN is leaders showing true leadership, bringing communities together, preventing violence, and not promoting it.  As was the case in the build-up to the looting and violence three weeks ago, starting with the gathering at Nkandla on the eve of former President Jacob Zuma’s arrest, it is clear that the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province neither can nor will step in to prevent the threat of violence. I believe it is within the SAHRC’s mandate to step in and stop this march.”

Addressing the media yesterday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said that 30 of the people were shot and killed, four were burnt to death while others succumbed to their injuries as a result of being assaulted.

“During the unrest, Phoenix became an epicenter of heinous crimes and racist incidents that resulted in brutal killings and injuries. The events in Phoenix had claimed the lives of 36 people, our investigation shows that 30 of those who were killed were shot, two were burnt to death, one was stabbed and another was run over by a vehicle. Two others died from the brutal injuries they sustained after being assaulted. In total police are investigating 52 cases of attempted murder and probing nine cases of common assault and 16 cases of assault GBH.”

Minister Bheki Cele’s gives a report on the murders in Phoenix : 

He revealed that four security companies are also being investigated. He said 152 guns belonging to the security companies have been seized, an additional 112 illegal firearms were also seized from various individuals around the area during police operations.

22 suspects have since been arrested in connection with the Phoenix violence.