DA leader John Steenhuisen has vowed to approach the South African Human Rights Commission in a bid to stop the EFF from following through with plans to hold a protest in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) this week.
EFF reportedly planning Phoenix protest
The official opposition’s federal executive leader noted in a statement released on Wednesday that he had received reliable intel on the Red Berets’ plot to disrupt the social cohesion initiatives undertaken by the ministry of police in Phoenix.
On Tuesday, Minister Bheki Cele updated the nation on recent efforts made by authorities in bridging racial lines in the Durban North suburb where 36 people were killed in July’s shutdown riots.
The minister confirmed that investigations are underway and at this time, at least 22 suspects have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the massacre. This, Cele confirmed, includes at least four private security firms who are under the microscope over their alleged involvement in the violent killings.
According to Steenhuisen, the EFF has launched a plan to picket in the Durban suburb and this, he said, was an attempt by the Julius Malema-led organisation to “whip up anti-Indian sentiment.”
“What is evident from the material designed to promote what the EFF calls their “March to Phoenix Against Racist Indians” is that they are hoping to stir up racial tensions and inflame violence between black and Indian residents. This kind of destructive racial provocation is all the EFF offer in the way of political discourse, and it cannot be allowed to take hold,” Steenhuisen warned.
John Steenhuisen asks SAHRC to intervene
In a two-page letter sent to the SAHRC, Steenhuisen warned that the EFF’s planned protest is “the very last thing the traumatised communities of Phoenix need right now.”
“I urge the SAHRC to step in and stop this march, to protect the communities of Phoenix from the heightened risk of further violence in this time of heightened tension. If that intervention is not within the SAHRC’s power to implement, then I urge the SAHRC to get an interdict from the court. It is, after all, the state’s role to protect people from violence and potential incitement of violence,” the DA leader pleaded.
Attempts were made to reach the EFF to verify claims of a Phoenix protests but we were unsuccessful by the time this article was published.
Moreover, a sweep through the political party’s official social media channels yielded no sign of a poster described by Steenhuisen.