The KwaZulu-Natal families of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members who died in the Shell House Massacre in 1994, say they feel neglected by government.
Nineteen of the 20 000 IFP members who marched to the ANC’s headquarters in Jeppe Street in Johannesburg in protest against the elections which the party intended to boycott, were shot and killed by African National Congress (ANC) security guards.
The Nugent Commission of Inquiry which investigated the shooting, later found that the guards’ actions were unjustified.
The shooting highlighted the ongoing tensions between the ANC and the IFP, on the eve of the first democratic elections in April that year.
Buyakuthiweni Mkhize is one of 15 widows who still live in the rural area of oKhukho near Ulundi, which was home to the men who were killed. Mkhize says they feel forgotten as victims of political violence and they haven’t been compensated.
Many of the widows don’t have basic services at their homes.
Mkhize recently lost her job as a domestic worker at a nearby mine after Covid-19. She says life has been hard as she still supports her and her late husband’s children.
“He died during political violence. I was just new in the marriage. Life then changes for the worst even though his children do not know him as he died while they were young. It became difficult for me and some people assisted us with a poultry farming project that failed. I have no support. I stay here with my children.”
The local municipality initially helped support their poultry business, but funding dried up.
The women say they plan to open a bakery to support their families, but they need financial support.
GRAPHIC CONTENT | Remembering Shell House massacre victims:
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