The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in KwaZulu-Natal says it will investigate the recent unrest that led to the death of 20 people in Phoenix.

SAHRC provincial manager Advocate Lloyd Lotz says they have the powers to start dialogue with the community and address all the issues that might have led to the recent racial tensions.

“Our interest is to find out why there are racial tensions. As a commission, we always receive complaints – not only in Phoenix, but in other places as well in KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of South Africa. Racism is what most people complain about in this country. Every year, it shows that most complaints are about racial tension.”

Detectives assigned to investigate deaths of more than 20 people in Phoenix

Police Minister Bheki Cele says a team of detectives has been assigned to investigate the deaths of more than 20 people in Phoenix, Durban.

Cele visited the community again on Saturday, where he lambasted the public for taking the law into their own hands during the recent violent looting spree. Last week, looting and vandalism caused racial tensions in the area.

Cele has condemned the looting but added that it cannot justify the killing of suspects.

“It’s illegal for private security, citizens just like myself, I can’t be asking for your ID –  I can’t do that. I can’t be asking you to open the boot, it can’t happen. It is even worse if the criteria is the colour and that has been a lot even here and in Durban North. There are people that are saying they can’t go to the mortuaries, they are blocked here in Phoenix to identify their dead ones so now they can’t bury them. You can’t hate people even when they are dead.”

 Minister Cele addresses the Phoenix community in KwaZulu-Natal:

Cele has vowed to restore unity and peace in KwaZulu-Natal. He says a community team will be formed to help quell the violence.

Minister Cele meets with communities north of Durban: