Phoenix 'massacre' claimed innocent lives: Zikalala

Phoenix 'massacre' claimed innocent lives: Zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says most of the people killed in Phoenix during the recent violence and unrest were innocent. 

Sihle Zikalala

He has explained his stance on the 36 murders last month, and why he's chosen to define what happened as a massacre. 

Other government entities have been referring to the killings - in apparent vigilante attacks - as acts of violence. 

The 22 suspects face charges of murder, attempted murder, malicious damage to property and defeating the ends of justice. 

READ: Phoenix unrest killings have risen to 36, Cele confirms

The premier, together with Police Minister Bheki Cele, hosted a briefing on Tuesday to update the media on the violence in the area, north of Durban, last month. 

"The reality is that most of the people who died were innocent people who were travelling along the road.

"They died within the same area of Phoenix within a particular period of unrest. They were there helpless, not there to fight and they were not even afforded to defend themselves." 

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