Boipatong Massacre 20th Anniversary

Posted: 09/07/2012 in Politics

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“Year in and out, we commemorate this day but there is no improvement in our lives, as a victim of Boipatong Massacre we still need more from the government”, said Matsile Mirriam Molete (58) – one of the survivor.

Molete, lost her fiancé in the wee hours of June, 17 1992 when scores of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members armed with machine guns, spears, knob-kierries and sticks attacked the community of Boipatong.

“We were sleeping when we heard a big bang, upon investigating what was happening I saw a white man holding a panga, he hacked me on my left hand and stabbed me with a sharp object. He then proceeded to hack my daughter Mitta (who was three years at the time) on the head with a panga then they shot my fiancé three times in the heart and he died on the scene. They destroyed our shack.” explained Malete.

Mitta was wheel-chair bound. She added by saying she will be glad if the government can offer the children of the victims some opportunities like jobs. Molete is not working and survives on Mitta disability grant.

She said “we are struggling with my daughter as both of us are not working.” My daughter completed her tertiary studies but she can’t find a job.

During the attack about forty-five people were stabbed and hacked to death as scores of others lay injured on the pavement, they ransacked houses and after the attack some houses were destroyed and burned.

Maria Mbatha (38) who lost three family members said she can’t forget this day, every time the massacre approaches she feels heart-broken. Mbatha said at her home there are no elder people as they were gunned down by Inkatha Freedom Party members and police, she added. “At our home its cold as no-one is working, I urge Emfuleni Local Municipality and the Sedibeng District Municipality to offer one of my brothers a job because we are struggling; sometimes we sleep on empty stomach.”

Kwa-Madala hostel is a stone throw away from Arcellor Mittal and it was once a notorious strong-hold of IFP supporters, after the 1994 elections majority of its members left the hostel fearing a violence attack by Vaal residents.

The executive mayor of Sedibeng District Municipality Simon Mahole Mofokeng said as the Sedibeng government we promise to attend to the matter.

He said “It is true that each and every year we come here and make promises but we don’t fulfill them”. But we are busy with other projects as we are erecting a monument site in Boipatong and it is going to be a centre that will benefit the community of Boipatong and South Africa as a whole. Mofokeng concluded.

Boipatong local ward councilor Ronyuza Mabandla said he will be glad if the government could declare this day a holiday. He said most of the families have lost hope in the government. “I normally have talks with these families. What happened to the Kagiso Trust,” he asked.

According to him many people who witnessed the massacre are traumatized. Some of them are not traumatized as a result of being shot at but merely because they were part of this traumatic experience, he explained. He added by saying the new building of the monument bring hope to people of Sedibeng.        

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