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Convener of Phoenix killings march meets with police over ‘racist’ remarks

02 August 2021 - 13:06 By nivashni nair
A video shows the convener of the march, Jackie Shandu, shouting 'One settler, one bullet. One Indian, one bullet' to the group, who repeat the remarks.
A video shows the convener of the march, Jackie Shandu, shouting 'One settler, one bullet. One Indian, one bullet' to the group, who repeat the remarks.
Image: Supplied

Jackie Shandu, the convener of a coalition of civic groups under the banner #JusticeForPhoenixMassacreVictims, was at the Durban Central police station on Monday morning after charges were laid against him for making racist remarks.

On Sunday, the coalition released a statement saying Shandu would be at the police station following a call from an officer tasked with investigating the criminal case against him.

The coalition’s spokesperson Phezukonke Mthethwa confirmed to TimesLIVE on Monday that Shandu was at the police station.

“Mr Shandu received a call from a Warrant Officer Mlungwana to inform him he was investigating the matter relating the remarks  he made. He is at the police station to find out more,” he said.

Mthethwa did not say whether Shandu had handed himself over to police or was in the process of being arrested.

“We will issue a statement at the end of the day. We are here to find out more about the legal process,” he said.

A video circulating on social media shows Shandu shouting “One settler, one bullet. One Indian, one bullet” to the gathering, who repeat the remarks.

The comments were unanimously slated by groups including the eThekwini municipality, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala, the SA Hindu Maha Sabha, African Democratic Change, ActionSA and the DA.

At least two organisations have opened criminal charges against Shandu, including the Community Policing Forum and African Democratic Change.

On Friday Shandu posted a retraction on Twitter. 

“Yesterday we led a march to the municipality to submit a memorandum in response and reaction to the massacre in Phoenix but also in Chatsworth, Verulam, Sydenham and Isipingo.

“During our march I made some problematic remarks which, with the benefit of hindsight, should not have been said.

“I said ‘One settler, one bullet. One Indian, one bullet’. I want to withdraw those remarks because I don’t condone violence and I see the potential they have to sort of inflame already existing racial tensions.

“I want it to be on record that I am saying that having reflected, having sobered up, of course one was deeply enraged at that moment, one was feeling the hurt and the pain and the trauma, certain things came up. We are anti-racist in our outlook and don’t condone racism in any way and therefore retract the remarks.”

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Shandu said the retraction was not made in response to criminal charges or complaints. 

“I am aware of the ActionSA statement about charges and the DA intending to lay a complaint with the police but the retraction was made before this. This was about responsible leadership aimed at a workable solution. This was about saying I erred and let us move forward.”