‘KILLING FIELD’ OF KZN MIDLANDS
DURING the 1990s, Richmond was known for politically motivated killings which earned the Midlands town the name, the “killing field” of Kwazulu-natal.
However, when Sifiso Nkabinde, a well-known figure in Richmond, was expelled from the ANC in 1997, he joined the United Democratic Movement led by Bantu Holomisa.
This triggered a low-level war between the UDM and the ANC which saw more than 120 people killed, prompting Mandela to deploy the army to Richmond. Nkabinde was killed in 1999.
Andrew Ragavaloo, who was the mayor at the time of clashes, recounts the turbulent period in his book, Living Under the Shadow of Death.
“A true story, this gripping narrative reads like a political thriller as it describes one South African town’s year of terror in the early days of the new postapartheid government,” read an extract from the book.
It is believed the recent political killings were sparked by factions within the ANC
Last year, deputy mayor of Richmond Thandazile Phoswa was gunned a month after Richmond’s municipal manager‚ Sibusiso Sithole was killed. Two ANC councillors were also shot dead last year.
The ANC Youth League in Mzwandile Mbongwa sub-region in Richmond will hold a memorial this month in honour of all the people who were killed in the area in politically motivated attacks. |