South Africa—President Cyril Ramaphosa has shot down claims by the official opposition that Police Minister Bheki Cele was engineering racial tensions in Phoenix during the unrest in KwaZulu- Natal in July.
While responding to questions in parliament, Ramaphosa said everything that was being done to ensure stability in the province and in Gauteng.
He said contrary to want the official opposition was saying, Cele had played a role in uniting all communities in Phoenix, Zwelisha, Bhambayi, and other surrounding areas.
According to Ramphosa, racial tensions had simmered done after Cele appointed two deputy ministers to work with the affected communities.
DA leader John Steenhuisen has accused Cele of fanning racial tensions between Indians and Africans in Phoenix, surrounding communities.
But Ramaphosa said when he was in KwaZulu Natal during the unrest Cele was meeting with the communities.
“I know for a fact minister Cele was visiting Phoenix and surrounding areas a number of times. He has been engaging them to ensure tensions are quieted down. He has done admirable work and this work has been taken forward by deputy Minister Mafu and Deputy Minister Jeffrey,” said Ramaphosa.
The president stressed that he was not aware of Cele having fanned tensions in the area. And that the government was helping businesses that were affected by the violence and looting in July both in KZN and Gauteng.
According to him, the government was providing necessary support for those who had been on the receiving end of the violence. He said they hoped to get the country back on its feet after the unrest.
Civil unrest occurred in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces from 9th to 18th July 2021, sparked by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court.