Premier seeks EC massacre victims’ relatives

Premier Phumulo Masualle
Premier Phumulo Masualle
Image: File

Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle has issued a notice calling for the 106 victims and family members of apartheid-era massacres in the province to come forward.

Masualle’s office recorded the names of 106 Eastern Cape victims after a meeting between victims’ representatives and the premier last year.

He is attempting to source assistance for the victims to access presidential funding believed to be worth between R1.19bn and R1.7bn.

This is being driven by the department of justice.

The Daily Dispatch has been furnished with the list of victims and relatives of massacres in the province.

One of the victims, Petros Vantyu, who was part of the ANC’s security detail, spent 10 days in hospital after being shot at the Bhisho massacre of 1992.

“I think the list is a product of a long process of consultation. There has been a forum dealing with issues associated with the Bhisho massacre.

“I think the awareness made around the existence of the fund is a positive step towards doing justice (and) ensuring proper reparation for the victims,” Vantyu said.

However Bhisho committee chairperson Boyce Nqono was uncertain how the premier’s office had derived the number as the Bhisho massacre had more than 100 dead and wounded victims alone.

There were several massacres in the Border and former Transkei, including the Egerton massacre in Mdantsane, Ingquza Hill and the Nompendulo massacre in Zwelitsha, among 20 other recorded massacres.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is reported to have recorded 22,000 victims of apartheid violence in the Eastern Cape, but only 17,000 survivors and families came forward to claim reparations.

Ciskei homeland military leader Brigadier Oupa Gqozo’s forces shot dead 28 ANC supporters and a soldier on September 7 1992.

Masualle’s spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo, said the premier had informed the victims about the presidential fund, which carries a one-off payment of R30,000 for all apartheid-related massacres’ victims.

The meeting followed an outcry from the Bhisho massacre victims and relatives.

“It transpires that there is help available for those victims, including their children being entitled to free basic and higher education, where the department of justice covers everything 100%, from accommodation and tuition to books.”

Kupelo said Masualle’s office wanted the 106 people to come forward.

Kupelo added: “There is money that is available. There is an office created in the department of justice to deal with apartheid victims, including the fact that areas such as Duncan Village were to be allocated R30m for community development.”

Nqono said Masualle’s office had not given them an update since the earlier meeting.

The Dispatch further asked Kupelo about the timelines, the discrepancy in relation to the victims’ tally between the Bhisho committee and the premier’s office, and whether the office would be able to accommodate more claims.

Kupelo could not respond in detail to questions as he was in cabinet at the time of writing.