The South African Council of Churches General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana says brutal accounts of the events that unfolded in Phoenix recently have been brought to their attention.
Mpumlwana says he was part of a two-day provincial pastoral visit led by the KZN Council of Churches which ended on Wednesday.
He says they also paid a pastoral visit to the Zuma family in Nkandla.
Bishop Mpumlwana says the visit led by the KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches (KZN-CC) included community members of Inanda, Phoenix and Hindu religious leaders who met with local community leaders.
“We listened to accounts of brutal attacks on innocent people. We listened to a grieving father of a slain son. Percy was his name. We heard of accounts of wounded survivors. We also heard of courageous plans of Hindu and Christian religious leaders to pursue justice, heal the community for the making of peace with justice. Peace that restores the equilibrium of life for these communities that have to rebuild their life together and South Africans. This is a task they intend to go into with zeal in the understanding of the challenges” says Bishop Mpumlwana.
He says they also had a meaningful pastoral visit to the former president’s family.
Mpumlwana says the visit was conducted by representatives of the Anglican Church, the KZN-CC and the Zuma family church, the KZN Regional Council of the Congregational Church on Tuesday.
“We visited and prayed with both the widow of Mr Michael Zuma as well as the family of Mr Jacob Zuma, to pray with and help them cope with the pressure of the situation they have to deal with, especially MaKhumalo who has not been too well, ably supported by MaNgema who graciously hosted us. In both, the resilience in the pain of Phoenix and the dignity of the Zuma mothers in the turbulence of this moment as a family, tell of the strength of the human spirit and the presence of God’s grace in all circumstances,” adds Bishop Mpumlwana.
Two joint parliamentary inquiries will be conducted by the Intelligence, Police and Security committees of both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. They will investigate the violent unrest that saw more than 300 people killed in both Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.
However, COPE says it does not have faith in the parliamentary inquiries.
COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says the Mayhem including the Phoenix Massacre, must be investigated by the law enforcement agencies who should apprehend the known suspects.
“We cannot trust the ANC with another parliamentary inquiry to investigate the mayhem that took place in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. History will repeat itself with this inquiry. The Nkandla scandal is still fresh in our minds when the ANC MP’s protected and covered up (for) their former President Jacob Zuma and the ministers who tabled a flawed report. The ANC used its majority to adopt this flawed report. This is an extremely serious matter. More than 300 people lost their lives. Businesses suffered damages worth billions of rands. President Ramaphosa and the security cluster ministers assured the country that they know the 12 instigators who are responsible for the Mayhem. Why are they not being arrested?” asks Dennis Bloem.
One joint parliamentary committee will focus on the intelligence aspect of the unrest and the other one will look into the role of the police during the violence. The Joint-Police Committee says it will conduct a two-week investigation and report back to parliament when it resumes later next month.
VIDEO: Suspects arrested in connection with the Phoenix killings to appear in court: