‘The violence must not happen again’
CHANELLE LUTCHMAN firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMBERS of political parties in KwaZulu-Natal believe South Africans can rebuild. Protests erupted in KZN and Gauteng after the arrest of former president, Jacob Zuma. Businesses and warehouses were looted and burned, fuel pumps have run dry and store shelves are empty. However, as the unrest dies down, politicians believe the worst is over and it is time to look forward. Francois Rodgers, the DA KZN leader, said he hoped that communities would be able to rebuild together. “We have seen people of different races and religions come together to protect their areas. They have taken a stand and said ‘enough is enough’. We need to recognise that the majority of the people are law-abiding citizens, who want to end this looting so they can lead peaceful lives. “My only fear now is food security. Stores and warehouses have been destroyed. What we need to do is look for a depot or warehouse that has not been destroyed,” Rodgers said. “Maybe we can use the ICC or the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg or look for untouched depots that Checkers could use to place its stock and distribute from there.” Rodgers said the reason for the violence was political and that it showed that local leadership had failed citizens. “Sihle Zikalala, our premier, has been absent. I only saw him addressing this last week. It’s been confirmed that top officials from the State Security Agency are the ones fuelling this unrest. We need them in Estcourt with Jacob Zuma. We need proper leadership to band people together and work together for a safer country.” Mdu Nkosi, an IFP eThekwini exco member, said once the SANDF and police stopped people from looting, South Africans could rebuild. “We have been disturbed by what's happening in areas like Phoenix and Chatsworth, and we have been concerned about the residents but we are also positive that once law enforcement can stop the violence, communities can rebuild. “We have suggested that community leaders come to the forefront and take a stand by talking to their residents and finding a way to bring a peaceful end to this violence.” He said the violence must not happen again. “People were living in fear and are still in fear. Some have no fuel, others have money but can't buy bread. We need leaders in the community to stand up because the local government has failed residents. These people that are protesting were saying they were hungry. It's not because of hunger. What does hunger have to do with taking a forklift, equipment and furniture? This was a plan to unsettle the country and we need to reclaim our country.” Jarad Damian Naicker, the ANC secretary in ward 73 (Montford in Chatsworth), where tensions were high last week, said: “Over the last few days, the looting and destruction of buildings have affected all the communities and it will be difficult times long term as food warehouses were burnt down. “Communities must get together and rebuild, as many have shown unity and protected their areas together. We, as community leaders, will play an important role working to ensure that we will get stronger in time.” The EFF in KZN could not be reached for comment.