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Political killings continue unabated in KZN and more especially in Glebelands Hostels in Umlazi. Vanessa Burger asks all the open questions about the violence, all evidence and circumstances of which point to a particularly toxic trajectory of the ANC.
On Friday 15 September the Durban Magistrate’s Court sentenced Mxoleleni Hopeson Bhani to life imprisonment for the murder of Sipho Ndovela, killed on 18 May 2015 at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court, and 12 years for the attempted murder of another Glebelands resident. But there were others – police members – also implicated in Ndovela’s murder. Bhani did not act alone. Glebelands will never be free of violence and fear unless officers colluding with killers are brought to book. The late Sipho Ndovela was the former Block 56 chairperson. He ran a small tuckshop and provided security at a nearby taxi rank.
The ongoing political motivated killings in Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi has claimed many lives and left families in disarray. Children are among the ones most affected by the violence.
Researcher and writer Vanessa Burger, who testified at the Moerane Commission on the violence wracking Glebelands hostel, writes that the hitman who shot Sindiso Magaqa in July can be traced to Glebelands.
The women of Glebelands bear the brunt of violence and they are left to fend for themselves after their husbands are killed. To date 93 people have lost their lives to Glebelands hitmen.
There has been an increasing number of land and housing activists that have been murdered lately. Mthunzi “Ras Moziah” Zuma was shot and killed during a road blockade next to the land they were occupying near Khayelitsha Mall. Less than a month later another land and housing activist in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay 41 kilometres west of Khayelitsha was shot by the police during a housing protest and later died in hospital.
Land and housing activists have pledged to continue taking and occupying vacant land despite brutal repression by the state and the killing of those who fight for land. The commitment was made at seminar in Khayelitsha Monday night where different groups of organisations representing activists from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town met to share their experiences of state and police brutality.
The return of prospecting companies is raising hopes, amongst some, of an economic upturn in this region hard hit by poverty, as well as fears over potential shale gas exploitation on this land dedicated to grazing