'We're not racist': Racial tensions in Phoenix exaggerated, say some residents

This came as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched to the area on Thursday, protesting against racism in the area.

Scores of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members marched to the Phoenix police station on 5 August 2021 after at least 36 people were killed during July’s civil unrest after. Picture: @EFFSouthAfrica/Twitter.

PHOENIX - Some residents from Phoenix, north of Durban, have argued that racial tensions in their community had been exaggerated and sensationalised.

This came as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched to the area on Thursday, protesting against racism in the area.

At least 36 people were killed there during last month's deadly violence and looting.

Twenty-two people have been arrested.

Residents who spoke to Eyewitness News said that the killings were condemned by most people in the community, regardless of race and the arrests of alleged perpetrators were largely welcomed.

One woman said black and Indian people in Phoenix had lived together in harmony for many years.

"We are not racist people. We are Christians, we love God and God said love everybody because God sent his son to love everybody."

One man said that last month's looting frenzy took a violent turn, resulting in some residents acting on impulse but the only solution going forward was ensuring justice for both those whose shops were looted and those who were murdered.

"We need to join hands, we need to get some leaders from Phoenix and some leaders from the settlements around the Phoenix area, we need to promote peace out here and we need to talk about it."

At the same time, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said that they were formulating a social cohesion programme following the violence.

WATCH: 'We can’t tolerate this nonsense of racism': EFF marches in Phoenix

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.