South African President sends senior leaders to control ethnic tensions against Indians
Days after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor and expressed concern about the widespread violence and riots in that country, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday he sent his Minister of Police and Premier of KwaZulu Natal Province in a township. in Durban, amid escalating tensions between Indian and black communities.
Tensions between the two communities in and around Phoenix Township were sparked by social media posts following violence linked to the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma on July 7. that his government was doing everything possible to uphold law and order.
Ramaphosa briefly visited Ethekwini, a metropolitan municipality that includes the city of Durban and surrounding towns, to assess the situation following continued violence and looting in the area. However, he did not visit the suburbs of Phoenix and Pietermaritzburg, the provincial capital of KwaZulu-Natal, which were the most affected.
“The Minister of Police was on his way to Phoenix. Our local leaders – the prime minister, the MECs (members of the city’s executive committee) are going to have to deal with this type of situation, ”Ramaphosa said.
“I wanted to go myself, but time is running out now. We’re going to have a Cabinet meeting later so I’m going to have to go back to Gauteng (province), but I’m here now, encouraging and holding hands with our two people on the ground and also leading the security forces and getting them to come together. go to areas that are unstable at the moment.
The Indian High Commission in South Africa on Friday said Pandor, who “said the swift restoration of normalcy and peace was the top priority of his government.”
“The South African high commissioner in New Delhi has also briefed the Indian government on the situation,” the high commission tweeted, adding that the Indian high commission in Pretoria and the consulates in Johannesburg and Durban are in contact. with Indian community leaders and offered support and assistance to families in distress.
Edited posts from the mayor of Ethekwini, Mxolisi Kaunda, manipulated to create a highly inflammatory message against Indians, have also appeared on social media. In the original post, Kaunda had quoted someone else to call on everyone to exercise restraint, calling for calm.
Police Minister Cele said he was confident that with the deployment of troops law and order would be restored in Phoenix. Cele blamed the situation on the criminals, not those protesting Zuma’s imprisonment.
(With PTI inputs)