Cele police

Photo: Twitter

Cele: 56 arrested for the brutal murders of 20 people in Phoenix

Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday 56 people had been arrested for their alleged roles in the brutal Phoenix murders.

Cele police

Photo: Twitter

The Police Minister said 56 people had been arrested for the brutal Phoenix murders of 20 people since the civil unrest in the country.


Minister Bheki Cele said this during a visit to Umlazi on Thursday. 

He said those arrested would appear in court soon. Cele added that it seems some of the arrested

“It looks like there are some people who committed a heinous crime with one person being linked to six murders.”

This comes after a dedicated team of 10 detectives was tasked with investigating the murders last month. 

When he visited with angry Bhambayi community members last month, residents told Cele that armed Phoenix residents attacked them and prevented them from entering the suburb.

As the unrest spread through the province, some communities established their own defences; residents and private security companies stood guard at entry and exit points with weapons.

The township which borders Phoenix has reportedly been the focal point of racial tension since the outbreak of unrest and violence in the province, where more than 20 people – reportedly from nearby townships were killed.

Cele visited the Umlazi area on Thursday after the recent violent murders of 11 people in a period of one week.

In the first incident, six people were shot and killed at U Section on Sunday, 29 August 2021.

In the second incident on Tuesday, 31 August 2021, at W Section, another five people were shot and killed, and three others sustained serious injuries.

ALSO READ: Shocking! ELEVEN people violently murdered in Umlazi ONE week

“Reports suggest that a group of people were in a house when three unknown gunmen armed with 9mm pistols attacked them. The victims sustained serious injuries on the head and the upper body. The three who were injured were rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency medical attention.”

Thirty-seven 9mm cartridges, two spent bullets, and a live round of ammunition were found at the crime scene.

The MEC for Transport, Community Safety, and Liaison, Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, earlier on Wednesday condemned the acts of violence which have been happening in the area and calls for the police to speed up investigations to get to the bottom of the killings.

“I want to express my concern regarding the recent brutal killings that have happened at Umlazi. What worries me the most is that the majority of people who are involved are very young.

“I can’t even start to imagine how their families are receiving the sad news. I send my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and assure the community that the police are looking into these sporadic crimes.”

ALSO READ: Six people were shot and killed in a shooting in Umlazi