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Thu May 26 10:50:53 SAST 2016

The 'invisible' massacre

Thabile Mange | 05 January, 2016 00:32
Apparently there is a committee facilitating the recognition of the Mshenguville massacre. File photo
Image by: wikimedia commons

Last year Nthato Kodisang wrote a letter to the media appealing to the government to recognise the 1991 Mshenguville massacre in Kagiso. Kodisang's plea has fallen on deaf ears, or so it seems.

On May 12 1991, during the last days of apartheid, in Mshenguville (now Swanieville) 28 residents were killed by Kagiso 1 hostel dwellers, acting with the assistance of the police. There were also casualties in Kagiso 1 and 2. The apartheid regime dubbed these attacks and killings as "black on black violence". Twenty-five years later the massacre is yet to be recognised by our government. It is also yet to be registered in our history books, but it remains etched in our memories. It is as if nothing happened on that fateful day. And that those innocent people who were killed, died in vain.

I wish to add my voice to the appeal to the democratic government to recognise May 12 as the day of the Mshenguville massacre - though I would prefer to call it the Kagiso massacre. The massacre forms part of our history. We need to honour the memory of those who died on that day in the hands of the apartheid regime, using our people to kill their own.

But the cynic in me tells me my plea will also fall on deaf ears, just like Kodisang's plea.

Apparently there is a committee facilitating the recognition of the Mshenguville massacre. I wish to pledge my support to the committee and also invite other residents to do the same.

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