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Ramaphosa decries impact of violence on communities

Destruction and violence that hit KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces two weeks ago damaged property and livelihoods of the two regions…

Destruction and violence that hit KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces two weeks ago damaged property and livelihoods of the two regions and those responsible for the damage would be brought to book, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.“During some of the worst unrest in our democracy, and in a climate already thick with suspicion and paranoia, people that had lived side-by-side in relative peace, turned on each other,” Ramaphosa said in his weekly message to the nation. 

This has left a huge impact on the “cohesion of communities” that had lived together for years, he said.

He singled out the tragic events that took place in and around Phoenix in Durban where several people were killed in alleged racial attacks.

According to Ramaphosa, much still needed to be unearthed about the events that took place over the course of the last two weeks in the two provinces.

However, the proliferation of fake news, doctored images and incorrect information had made it difficult to separate fact from fiction, he added.

“But we do know from official reports and personal accounts that people were racially profiled at illegal roadblocks, some people were pulled out of cars and beaten, and some were humiliated and degraded. Several people were killed,” Ramaphosa said.

This should not be tolerated, he said, adding that calm had been restored to the affected areas and law enforcement agencies were investigating all acts of criminality.

“A team of detectives has been assigned to deal with the murders and are working closely with local communities. There have been arrests and those responsible will face the full might of the law,” Ramaphosa said.

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