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Post - 2021-07-21

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A NATION IN PAIN

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NADIA KHAN nadia.khan@inl.co.za

TASHLEEN Moodley wants justice. She is the mother of Faybian Moodley, a 17-year-old, from Trenance Park in Verulam, who lost his life in the recent violence that plagued KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country. With police unable to control the looting and violence, communities came together to protect themselves. Faybian was one of them. Vinodh Singh, chairperson of the community police forum (CPF) sector 3 in Verulam, said the area was volatile, as looters had tried to enter Trenance Park. “There were about three or four men who were trying to sneak through the sports ground to get into the area. We were not sure where they were going, but the situation was tense due to the looting and violence that was happening throughout KZN. “When the patrollers spotted the men, they approached with the aim of chasing them away. However, as the group fled, they opened fire and, sadly, Faybian was shot and killed. He was shot under his arm and died at the scene. It is sad that, due to this violence, a young child has lost his life,” said Singh. Moodley was buried on Tuesday. His mother said: “If it weren't for the unrest and looting that took place, my child would still be here today. He went out to defend his community and never returned home. How do we ever overcome the loss and pain that our family is suffering? “I will never be able to recover from this loss. My child was supposed to bury me, not the other way around. I want to know who killed my child and they need to be punished. He had so much to live for.” She said her son would have turned 18 in November, and was keen to get a driver’s licence so as to improve his chances of finding work. “I would tell everyone what a good child he was. He loved and lived for his family and friends. He was very bubbly and always joking. But he respected his elders and those around him. He also loved his younger sisters. My 2-year-old daughter asks for him every day. “Faybian was our protector and said he would always be there to take care of us and to make sure no one hurt us. My child wanted to work, and would often say: ‘Ma, I can't wait to be rich one day, so I can give you everything your heart desires’. In response I would tell him that, as long as we were together as a family, I would be happy. But now he is gone. I will never be able to play with him or talk to him, or even see his handsome face. “Every day just gets more difficult. I struggle to cope, but all I want is justice for my son. I would never want any mother to go through what I am going through.” Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the death toll, following the violence, had risen to 180 in the province. He was speaking after he met with families in Inanda, who had lost loved ones. Zikalala said he had met with police in Phoenix and was satisfied with the progress being made to investigate the deaths. He added: “We will work together, with both Indian and African people, to create programmes and plans to build both relationships. We all need to ensure that what occurred in South Africa, which was a disgrace, must not happen in the future. “We will initiate investigations to fight crime and find justice for all the victims who were killed during the stampedes. Those responsible for these deaths must be held accountable and be put behind bars, as must those who were looting. “We will then have a community programme with both races to mend relationships called ‘Community in Dialogue’ to bring back the spirit of ubuntu.” He also warned people to stop circulating fake news. "It is wrong ... people will be investigated for spreading fake news. It is causing anxiety. It is important to verify. If you are concerned, send the posts to the police so they can investigate," said Zikalala. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said that they have since received several complaints pertaining to the unrest, as well as allegations of racial discrimination. “These are in the process of being assessed and dealt with, in terms of the commission’s complaints handling procedures. Urgent complaints/matters will be expedited accordingly, depending on the specific circumstances,” said advocate Lloyd Lotz, provincial manager of the SAHRC in KZN. Lotz said the SAHRC condemned the allegations pertaining to racial discrimination, as well as the violence that had engulfed certain provinces – particularly in KZN and Gauteng – and its potential to create racial tension and division in these provinces, and in the country as a whole. He said the SAHRC was currently engaging with various stakeholders, as the issue required a multipronged approach. “The commission is also considering various initiatives, both at a national and provincial level, to address the racial tensions that are prevalent in the various areas. “During and following the civil unrest, the commission has also taken note of racial tensions that have erupted within particular communities. These racial tensions have led to, at times, deadly violence. “The commission, in wishing to foster social cohesion among all groups, will also investigate these instances,” said Lotz.

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