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Phoenix monument, peace garden for victims of KZN unrest and riots

06 October 2021 - 17:43
EFF supporters marched through Phoenix to protest the killing of black people during July's unrest. File photo.
EFF supporters marched through Phoenix to protest the killing of black people during July's unrest. File photo.
Image: Mluleki Mdletshe

A monument and peace garden are to be unveiled in Durban in tribute to those who died during unrest and looting.

This was announced at a KwaZulu-Natal government provincial executive council sitting on Wednesday.

“The executive council resolved to officially unveil the Phoenix monument and a peace garden during December,” the council said. “They will be erected as a mark of honour and remembrance for those who lost their lives during the civil unrest and looting which took place in July this year in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal.”

The monument will bear the names of those who died.

Racial tensions erupted in Phoenix during unrest and rioting in Durban in July as 36 people lost their lives — 30 of them shot.

The council “condemned the fuelling of tensions through the divisive posters by opportunistic political parties in the Phoenix area which has heightened tensions in the area”.

It was referring to DA election posters which read: “The ANC calls you racists ... The DA calls you heroes.”

TimesLIVE reported on Tuesday that DA provincial chair Dean Macpherson said the posters were going up all over the city and the intention was not to create further division among residents.

However, the council called on communities “to resist all those who are using these unfortunate events to further divide the community or to make political capital out of the misery of the people”.

“Sowing divisions and tensions to garner votes is an act of political selfishness which undermines the victims’ pain and the efforts at peace led by right-thinking members of the community and government.”

The council said on the whole it was satisfied with recovery and rebuilding efforts after the riots and unrest. It said the support and commitment made by the diplomatic corps and international investors is “a major shot in the arm for the recovery”.