Almost two months after the Phoenix violence that left 36 people dead and stoked racial tensions between the suburb’s Indian community and their African neighbours, the KwaZulu-Natal government has started its series of reconciliation initiatives.
The first peace and reconciliation initiative, which was recently passed by the provincial government, will take place on Tuesday at Phoenix.
It will draw participants from the nearby African townships of KwaMashu, Inanda, Ntuzuma and the informal settlement of Bhambayi, where some of those who were massacred came from.
The peace march will also see the entire provincial government cabinet marching in the heart of the suburb in the north of Durban.
It comes as the top team of SAPS detectives specially assigned by police minister Bheki Cele to probe the matter continues to make more arrests.
By September 2, 2021, Cele told the media that the detective’s work had led to the arrests of 56 suspects believed to have committed the gruesome killings allegedly under the guise of protecting their homes and businesses during the mid-July unrest that came with looting.
Some of those arrested remain in custody, while others have been granted bail under strict conditions by the Verulam magistrate court.
Announcing the peace march, the provincial government said they would also be joined by the civic society.
“KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala will lead Members of the Executive Council on Tuesday, 14 September 2021, and join civil society in a peace walk that will take place in Phoenix, which was the epicentre of violence and racial tensions during the civil unrest.
“The peace walks form part of the provincial government’s concerted efforts to enhance unity and social cohesion in the province following the civil unrest and racial tensions.
“The government of KwaZulu-Natal has adopted a 365-day social cohesion and moral regeneration programme as part of building a united and a peaceful province,” it said in a statement on Monday.