Fam­i­lies re­mem­ber vic­tims of po­lit­i­cal un­rest

The Mercury - - NEWS - Khumbuzile Mbuqe

THERE was a som­bre mood as fam­i­lies re­mem­bered their loved ones killed dur­ing po­lit­i­cal un­rest in the early 1990s at an emo­tional wreath lay­ing cer­e­mony in Um­gababa, south of Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

The Siyabakhum­bula Me­mo­rial Day was held to hon­our the lives of fallen he­roes and hero­ines who were killed dur­ing po­lit­i­cal un­rest be­tween the IFP and ANC in Um­gababa.

The com­mem­o­ra­tion also es­pe­cially marked the 25th an­niver­sary of the deaths of 29 peo­ple killed in the area on Oc­to­ber 18, 1992. An emo­tional Nokuthula Mzobe, 59, who lost her six-year-old son, couldn’t hold back her tears when she spoke to The Mer­cury, de­tail­ing how she re­ceived a call while at work, in­form­ing her about the in­ci­dent.

“My heart breaks each time I see the boys Si­bon­iso used to play with, they’re grown, work­ing some are mar­ried with kids, it hurts, it just hurts,” she said.

Ethek­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s head of Parks, Recre­ation and Cul­ture Them­binkosi Ng­cobo said the com­mem­o­ra­tion was held in re­mem­brance of the 29 peo­ple who were killed in the area.

“This in­ci­dent is re­ally locked in our mem­o­ries, the rea­son th­ese peo­ple were killed is be­cause they dif­fered po­lit­i­cally, sup­ported dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies, and it was thought that the eas­i­est way to re­solve th­ese dif­fer­ences was to kill one another.

“We should not be killing one another where we can’t agree, there must be a peace­ful co-ex­is­tence among dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies and cul­tures,” he said.

He said the me­mo­rial site was go­ing to form part of a her­itage lib­er­a­tion route, it will be one of the sites along with many other ar­eas around Um­gababa.

Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) vet­er­ans Al­pha “James” Si­fumbha said: “To­day is im­por­tant be­cause we are honour­ing our fallen com­rades who died dur­ing the strug­gle for free­dom.”

eThek­wini mayor Zandile Gumede, along with Free State Premier Ace Ma­gashule and ANC eThek­wini re­gional sec­re­tary Bheki Ntuli laid the wreaths at the me­mo­rial.

For­mer Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Com­man­der, Nkanyamba Mkhize ad­dresses the crowd at the Siyabakhum­bula Me­mo­rial Day, in Um­gababa in front of wreaths laid at the me­mo­rial in hon­our of those who were killed.

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