Early last week, conspiratorial messages began appearing on Twitter claiming the Indian community in Durban, South Africa, were “murdering Blacks in the streets.”
While people of all races took up guns and banded together to protect their neighborhoods from mostly Zulu rioters, the Indian community was singled out for particular vitriol on social media.
Now, attention has zeroed in on Phoenix, a Durban suburb originally founded by Mahatma Gandhi. At least twenty people were allegedly shot to death in this suburb.
Last Friday, South Africa’s police minister Bheki Cele blamed Phoenix’s deaths on crime. Today he has shifted blame to the Indian community and blamed the killings on “racism.” Cele came to Phoenix with a team of investigators. He was greeted by people who claim to have a family member that was killed.
One Indian posted a video on social media taunting a Black male who appears to be bleeding to death from a gunshot wound.
Black South Africans are tweeting #PhoenixMassacre in large numbers with conspiratorial claims that the media is pro-Indian and anti-Black. They are claiming the death toll in Phoenix is far higher, but their media and government cover it up because they are beholden to the Indian community.
People are tweeting photos of Black males and alleging Indians murdered them for no good reason.
The situation is still incredibly explosive. Some on Twitter are openly calling for retaliatory violence against the Indian community. There are hashtags like #IndiansMustFall. Twitter does not appear to be doing anything to stop the incitement of more violence.
— Mabaso Nhlanhla (@_NMabaso) July 15, 2021
A woman from #Phoenix tells #Newzroom405‘s @mwelimasilela that she was attacked in the area on 12 July. She says she was assaulted, her car burned and one of her attackers screamed that she be killed. pic.twitter.com/AsFQ9CawkB
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) July 17, 2021
— MtakaBusi (@nomthie_h) July 15, 2021
— 🇮🇹 modiboa Jnr mabuse 🇿🇦 (@Chef_Dibs) July 12, 2021
Indians started this thing of victimizing blacks long time ago, where are these guns than were protecting nkandla? Nangu umsebenzi wazo #Indians #IndiansMustFall #PhoenixMassacre pic.twitter.com/dAfKNbvxst
— Zolani Chosi™ (@ZolaniChosi) July 15, 2021
— Advovo (@advovolicious) July 15, 2021
Here are residents neighbouring Phoenix, Durban recount how they have lost love ones. Minister of Police Bheki Cele is being addressed by the community. pic.twitter.com/28ZEPvSZCq
— Mfanafuthi Biyela (@Phathizwe_RSA) July 17, 2021
— Cameron Mpho (@Cameronmomoo) July 17, 2021