The South African
Phoenix Massacre: SEVEN suspected vigilante killers due in court
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The Verulam Magistrate’s Court will host seven of the suspected murderers who killed alleged looters during the explosion of violence that engulfed KZN earlier this month. Around 20 people were picked off by vigilantes, as communities of different races turned against each other during the so-called ‘Phoenix Massacre’.
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Phoenix Massacre latest: Seven to appear in court
Law enforcement officials have already processed one of the suspects, after bodies at the local morgue began to pile up. The government is yet to confirm an official death toll for the Phoenix Massacre, but a significant number of lives have been lost to vigilantism – including that of a 15-year-old boy. Police spokesperson Brenda Muridili told the media:
“One of the suspects has already appeared in court and his case has been remanded to 16 August. The other seven suspects are expected to appear before court. Some suspects are allegedly connected to more than one murder case while others will face charges relating to attempted murder, damage to property, and defeating the ends of justice.”
Cyril Ramaphosa slams social media claims
President Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has weighed in on the grave situation. He lamented the fact that the divisions were driven by racial identity, and blamed the spread of ‘fake messages’ for inciting the suspects of the Phoenix Massacre.
“Much of the narrative around the events in Phoenix has been dominated by attempts to turn one race against another. It has been stoked by anonymous people on social media and in messaging groups making outrageous claims and calling for revenge. In a climate already thick with suspicion and paranoia, people turned on each other.”
“The events in Phoenix are a painful reminder of how much work we still need to do to build inclusive communities that have successfully broken down the boundaries of the past. These events also demonstrate how determined some people are to divide us, and how we need to do everything we can to resist them. It will not be tolerated.” | Cyril Ramaphosa