Director of the International Centre of Non-violence at the Durban University of Technology Crispin Hemson says unresolved anger and trauma could be the cause of what is currently happening in Phoenix, northwest of Durban.
Fears are mounting that the rising racial tensions in the area could result in clashes between police and angry protesters.
The KwaZulu-Natal government says more than 20 black people have been killed in Phoenix since the outbreak of last week’s unrest, which saw shops being looted and property vandalised.
Morning Live speaks to residents of Phoenix on what has happened:
Residents of neighbouring Bhambayi informal settlement recount what happened to them and loved ones in Phoenix during last week’s unrest:
Hemson says the authorities should investigate the source of the anger and trauma.
“What we actually need is to create a space where people do not waste time saying we love each other, we are all non-racial here. I think that kind of language is probably worse than doing nothing.”
“What we are doing is that we are asking you to forget what is sitting in your head and in your heart. Rather let’s hear – what are your feelings and if you are feeling angry, we need to know why you are feeling angry. Where do the anger and fear come from,” adds Hemson.
Bodies unaccounted for following the unrest in KZN, Phoenix:
Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it will soon visit Phoenix.
SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen says they will conduct an inquiry into the deaths and racial tensions in Phoenix.
“We will call people and all interested parties to come so we can listen to them and out of that, we will make recommendations. We are however concerned about the ongoing tensions in Phoenix.”
“We will be visiting Phoenix and will also do a proper assessment so we can understand facts because there is a lot of fake news, there is a lot of stories going around. So for us as the commission, [our role] is to ascertain the facts,” adds Nissen.