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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

'Violence spiral' led to Boipatong massacre

VANDERBIJLPARK -- The growing spiral of violence in the Vaal Triangle that led to the Boipatong massacre in June 1992 was graphically described at an amnesty hearing in Vanderbijlpark yesterday.

Vincent Khanyile, 36, is one of 15 former IFP members applying for amnesty for the massacre of 46 people, many of them women and children, on the night of June 17, 1992.

About 300 residents of the KwaMadala hostel, which houses workers of the nearby Iscor steelworks at Vanderbijlpark, are believed to have taken part in the attack.

Khanyile told the amnesty committee he witnessed attacks on his fellow Zulu-speaking hostel dwellers on the weekend before the massacre.

Asked how he had felt about the attacks he replied: "I was filled with revenge".

He said the ANC's self defence units (SDUs) were responsible for attacks in which two Zulu men, and a woman who was accused of having an IFP lover, were also killed.

Khanyile said he held the local community responsible for the attacks because they supported the SDUs.

He said the continual attacks by ANC supporters on anyone with any Zulu or IFP connections led to the decision to plan a counter attack on the nearby Boipatong township.

At a meeting held to discuss the spate of attacks on IFP supporters or Zulu speakers, a number of people complained about being harassed by ANC youths.

Khanyile said a hostel leader called Choncho told the meeting: "Don't worry, revenge is around the corner."

It has since emerged that the man was Damara Qconqco, who was named as the person who led the Boipatong attack and was later killed in taxi violence.

"There was going to be nothing else but killing," Khanyile said when asked what was on his mind when he and about 300 other KwaMadala hostel dwellers set out on the night of June 17.

He said SDU members shot at the group when it approached Boipatong and they returned the fire. The SDU members then fled and the attackers split into two groups and began rampaging through the streets and houses.

Khanyile said he stabbed one person and threw stones at windows, but did not enter any houses. When he left Boipatong that night he returned to the hostel and went to sleep. He did not know if the person he stabbed had died.

He was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment for his part in the massacre.

Source: http://www.dispatch.co.za/1998/08/12/southafrica/MASSACRE.HTM

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.