A march by South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday has blocked Phoenix Highway in KwaZulu-Natal, forcing motorists to avoid the area around Durban to use another route.The party said the march was in response to the killing of 36 people during last month’s violent unrest, which has resulted in racial tensions in the area.
EFF Durban spokesperson Mazwi Blose said the march was staged to remind the police of their “constitutional mandate and their constitutional duty” to probe the murders that took place in the area.
“We are here to tell the police to go to Phoenix and repossess all these illegal firearms,” Blose said.
He added: “We are going to be gathering around the Gandhi Park and then proceed on the Phoenix Highway towards the Phoenix Plaza — all the way to the Phoenix Police Station.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen said he opposed the march, saying the Human Rights Commission should stop it.
“This kind of destructive racial provocation is all the EFF offers in the way of political discourse. It cannot be allowed to take hold,” Steenhuisen said.
He added: “What we need in KwaZulu-Natal are leaders showing true leadership, bringing communities together, preventing violence, and not promoting it.”
Police Minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday said he had assigned 31 detectives to investigate the murders, and announced that 22 people had so far been arrested in connection with the killings in Phoenix.