Premier Sihle Zikalala can’t walk the talk at his peace walk
14 September 2021
Today’s “peace walk” by KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala in Phoenix was nothing more than a desperate political stunt ahead of the elections.
The Premier and his cabinet wasted no time during the July unrest to vilify, demonise and scapegoat the people of Phoenix for what was clearly the ANC’s internal factional battles playing out on the streets of KZN and the failure of the government to quell the violence and disorder.
Where was the Premier a month ago when Phoenix was on fire and people were losing their lives?
Since the unrest broke out, the message from the ANC was that the Phoenix riots and killings were racial and brazenly blamed the Indian community. To now hold a peace march long after the fact doesn’t fool the residents of KZN. Now that the elections are around the corner, the ANC wants this community to forget the race-baiting which it subjected the Indian community to.
The race-baiting and unsubstantiated accusations against Indian communities have no place in a democratic society. For years Indian communities have played a key and vital role in building a sustainable economy and developing communities. We stand with the people of Phoenix in opposition to the attempts by the ANC and other political parties to vilify and use this community as fodder in their attempts to regain power and votes.
If the Premier is seriously interested in reconciliation, he would focus his attention to the long overdue Indentured Indian Labourers Monument, a monument to the struggles and contributions made by Indian labourers who came to our shores to invest their blood, sweat and tears. This project and recognition of their contribution has been 6 years in the making, cost the province millions and yet no monument has been erected.
The DA continues to be the only truly diverse party in the province, dedicated to reconciliation and that continues to strive for a non-racial society.
Issued by Francois Rodgers, DA KZN Leader, 14 September 2021