The killing of 13 protesters in Mamelodi 29 years ago – known as the Mamelodi massacre – will be commemorated on Friday.
On 21 November 1985, 8000 residents from Mamelodi marched on the then Mamelodi town council to protest against high rent. Thirteen of them were killed and many others injured during the demonstration.
The SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) held a meeting at the Mamelodi West Community Hall on Tuesday evening to start preparing for the 30th anniversary of the massacre next year. Plans for this year were also discussed during the meeting.
Lindiwe Mathenjwa-Magome, Sanco’s one secretary, said the main objective was to bring awareness to the community of Mamelodi, in remembrance of the fallen heroes and heroines.
Mathenjwa-Magome said she was impressed with the amount of people who attended the meeting. “Mixed feelings of joy and sadness aroused as the number of attendees increased. People are thirsty for meetings of that nature,” she explained.
Mathunjwa-Magome said despite the tragic ending of the massacre, Mamelodi is still in bondage of wrong billing and credit control.
“Twenty-nine years later, credit control and wrong billing are still major concerns. The department of finance must review the harsh strategy of collecting electricity bills and doing cut offs,” Mathunjwa-Magome said.
During the meeting, Sanco also discussed the preparations for this year’s commemoration.
“On Friday, Sanco volunteers and foot soldiers will converge to Section F (B3) cemetery in Mamelodi West at 8:30 for a short ceremony. We will also start cleaning the graves of those fallen heroes at 9:00,” she said.
The second session of the event will be a memorial lecture conducted by Mike Seloane, who will inform the audience of what happened on the day of the massacre.
Mathunjwa-Magome said Sanco wants the day to be recognised nationally.
“We want to see this day listed on the national calendar and officially declared as the Mamelodi Massacre,” she said.
People who would like to take part in the morning session of the event should be at the Section F cemetery on Friday at 08:30.
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