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Religious leaders, along with the South African National Civic Organisation and community members, marched to the Phoenix police station on Wednesday to demand justice for the killing of black people during the looting and unrest in the area last week
DURBAN – RELIGIOUS leaders, along with the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and community members, marched to the Phoenix police station on Wednesday to demand justice for the killing of black people during the looting and unrest in the area last week.
At least 20 black people were killed, allegedly by suspected vigilantes with racial motives.
We, the religious leaders from the various denominations have taken it upon ourselves to remind South Africa that black lives matter. Given that there have been about 20 fatalities yet no arrests is worrisome, and we are concerned,” said Bishop Vusi Dube of the eThekwini Community Church. “We believe that the police must address the people and tell them how many arrests have been made. Lives cannot be lost without an investigation, otherwise it will send a message that black lives do not matter.”
Sanco said the police should conduct search operations in Phoenix and the surrounding areas to bring to justice those who committed the murders.
“We want law-enforcement officers to work with the community and go door to door to find unlicensed weapons, as well as their owners who could have committed the mass killings last week. This would be just like how they conduct their looted goods operations,” said Thulani Gamede, Sanco youth spokesperson.
The religious leaders have also drafted a letter of demand to the national chairperson of the ANC and its National Executive Committee (NEC) on behalf of people in the province who may have lost hope in the government.
The letter demands the immediate release of former president Jacob Zuma, and an increase in the number of people allowed to attend church gatherings to at least 100, “because people at this point feel demotivated and need spiritual awakening”.
The letter also calls for urgent investigations to find the perpetrators who took innocent peoples’ lives during the unrest.
“Additionally, we request that leaders must unite and refrain from infighting that has resulted in the slow demise of the ANC. We believe in the law like the NEC and believe that it must be non-prejudicial and should not be used to settle scores. Therefore, the NEC must recall the statement that ANC members must leave the ANC if they are unhappy. Members have a right to debate and challenge any decision using internal processes,” said Dube.
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