1995: Inkatha members killed

South Africa still experience today so many attacks, violence, rapes and killings.  Nothing has been changed since 1994.  There is indeed more violence today as before 1994.  This is a very old article and if you look at the content, there is no change at all.  Black people are quick and always remember the 1976, Marikana or Sharpville, but conveniently forget the day to day attacks, rapes and killings?  What about the brutal farm attacks and farm murders?

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The IFP has renewed its battle over the alleged assassination of about 400 party leaders.   Ann Eveleth investigated the claims from Mangosuthu Buthelezi about the Wembezi funeral of the three Dladla brothers.    They were gunned down  at the Escourt Bacon Factory.Wembezi IFP Youth Brigade secretary Nhlanhla Dladla died instantly. His brothers, Xolani and Sizwe, died later in hospital from their injuries.

The latest chapter in a long saga of political conflict plaguing this small KwaZulu-Natal Midlands town, the Dladla murders have become a new symbol for the IFP’s campaign against the “systematic war of murder and assassination” of party leaders in the province.     Lashing out at “the recent acceleration” of such murders, IFP defence spokesman Senator Phillip Powell said the African National Congress had issued a “unilateral declaration of war” against the party.

He said the death of 430 party leaders since 1985 begged the question “why nothing is being done to apprehend the perpetrators”.

The absence of case numbers on 170 of the 390 cases, incorrect case numbers on others, discrepancies between the IFP’s early and recent lists over such details as the gender, name, position, and cause of death of their leaders are just some of the questions.   IFP secretary general Ziba Jiyane admits the list may contain “mistakes”, but claims the majority of cases are accurate. He argues that the significance of the list is that “it establishes a pattern” of attacks on IFP leaders.

Network of Independent Monitors (NIM) Port Shepstone spokesman Sylvan Chetty argues, however, that “anyone who dies in an area dominated by the IFP, if nobody claims them, then the IFP makes them a leader.”   Umgababa Secretary Miss P Shandu (149), Youth Brigade committee member Miss Z Shandu (150) and committee member Miss N Shandu (151) are cases in point.   Umgababa sources say the area has never had an IFP branch.   Umkomaas South African Police reports from the 1990 list the area as “an ANC stronghold”.

Local violence monitors say the Shandus were killed by ANC supporters shortly after they settled in the area in mid-1990. They were recognised as IFP refugees from ongoing violence in KwaMakhutha and were burned to death. Thirteen people were trialled for their murder, six were convicted.

Jiyane says it is “callous” to focus on their status within the party rather than on the fact they were burnt alive.   Jiyane insists the three were office-bearers: “We are a grassroots organisation with over 4 000 branches in KwaZulu-Natal alone”.

University of Natal Pietermaritzburg Professor John Aitcheson, who monitored violence in the Midlands in the 1980’s, argues:   “If you listed United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders killed – youth leaders and others who wielded some degree of authority – you would probably come up with at least 1 500 for the Midlands.

De Haas is of the opinion that the “IFP supporters obviously got picked off by ANC supporters, many were also killed by their own people, by jealous husbands, in criminal violence or other crime.    Professor Ngilande (number 354) died in July 1994 –  he had an affair with somebody else’s wife and that’s how he met his death.   He was killed but not a political killing.    Sometimes there are internal conflict within the IFP.    S’modern Jula, number 390 – One of three main “warlords” operating on the South Coast, Jula was allegedly killed by an opposing warlord. The IFP suggested the use of a hand-grenade in the attack was a “classic ANC-style hit”.

Violence monitors attribute more than a dozen cases to internal IFP dynamics or warlordism. Jiyane disagrees: “Warlord is just a buzz-word to describe strong IFP leaders who dare to stand up to ANC death squads.”

Ex-Democratic Party monitor and ANC MP Roy Ainslie said that number 359 – Joseph Nyathikazi – was also killed by enemies in his own party.   “He was a warlord in Mshayasafe (Inanda) who got into a fight with his own people and fled to Ndewewe. His enemies from Mshayasafe followed him there and killed him,“  Ainslie alleged.

Jiyane admits the IFP has internal problems, but adds: “They are nothing compared to those of the ANC.”

Atchison argued that Drake Ntombela (number 135) and son of IFP MP David Ntombela, was a victim of his own criminal alliances: “Drake and a fellow gangster had robbed a store.

“They got into a fight while dividing the spoils and his co- conspirator shot him, although police at the time pegged it as an ANC murder,” he alleged.

The M&G sought clarity from the police about 200 case numbers from 24 police stations about murders which appear on the IFP death list.

There were few responses from police stations at the time of going to press, but preliminary findings suggest a wide margin of error on the IFP list. One case number related not to the death of an IFP leader, but to the double murder of two UDF activists.

Another police record states: “The deceased and his family were not supporters of any political organisations.”

Another “murder” case number turned out to be an attempted murder charge. Jiyane emphasised: “The IFP is an under-resourced party” without the mechanisms to investigate such incidents thoroughly, contributing to errors and making evidence hard to come by.

Violence monitors point out many of the incidents took place in KwaZulu Police (KZP) jurisdiction, at a time when IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was minister of the KZP.

Asked why the KZP had failed to solve the 56 referenced cases at its disposal, or to provide case numbers for the dozens of other cases clearly within its jurisdiction, Jiyane said the KZP was not the “strong” force it was projected to be, and did not have the capacity to investigate all cases.

Jiyane said the IFP had made submissions to the Goldstone Commission and written letters to security force heads calling for an independent inquiry into the deaths, but it would not co- operate with the Investigation Task Unit which is responsible for investigating hit-squads in the province.

Jiyane said his party does not trust the unit, accusing it of bias in favour of the ANC. Shrugging off the 16 convictions, 88 arrests, 13 acquittals, six arrest warrants and seven deceased suspects listed by the IFP in respect of the 390 deaths, Jiyane said the fact that “one or two people have been arrested”, was insufficient.

He said there needed to be a thorough investigation to look at the plot “behind the killings” – an orchestrated ANC plot to assassinate IFP leaders.

(mail and guardian reported on the matter)


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