Khutsong, in English is a “place of rest,” but the people of Khutsong including myself, have never rested since it’s establishment in the late 50s.
Khutsong is a product of forced removals of our people by the tyrant apartheid Government. The people were scattered in community settlements all over what we now call Merafong City. They were living their lives to the fullest.
Then, came the notorious Group Areas Act of 1950, the Black Township and Urban Areas Acts, which separated ethnic groups and often segregated them into separate areas like we experience today, eg Tswana, Basotho, Pedi, Zulu & etc sections and the Khutsong Hostel was particularly designed to accommodate migrant workers from the so-called Homelands.
Fochville, according to Herald article,(19/7/2013) was established in 1928 and was named after apartheid General Ferdinand Foch and that Carletonville was established in 1948 and was named after a mining Engineer Mr Guy Carleton Jones and yet there is no public institution named after our heroes/heroines.
I was told by the late veteran Anti-apartheid activist Mr Clement Mabaso, that there were apartheid resistance struggles which were waged by himself and other veterans like Mr Nyokana whose whereabouts is unknown since he was deported by the Khutsong Town Council in the 1960s.
During my youth political time (1980s), I was led by the late veteran political stalwarts, like Mr Matjila,Motyotywa, Dr Tshupe, Dan Ndeku, Manyosi, Barayi and others. Our anti-apartheid struggle led by the UDF heightened from 1986 in which we embarked on the following Campaigns -
-Demanding better Municipal Services (there were no water-borne toilet systems or electricity in the entire township
- Release Mandela
-Khutsong Rent Boycott which was championed by Women led by comrade Nonzima Kasibe. In all these noble struggles from early 1980s to 1989, there was a unity of purpose amongst the Community of Khutsong because the T’shirts of UDF were bearing ‘United, we stand, divided, we fall’ slogan.
During 1976, there were sporadic incidents of anti-apartheid resistance but never lasted for too long.
The apartheid Government became Clever-stupid by employing ‘divide & rule tactics’ and by taking advantage of the social conditions of black people by turning some of the political activists into paid informers.
This was a turning point for Khutsong politics. We saw the emergence of what was called “black on black violence.” Gangsterism and vigilantes became the order of the day. We witnessed horrendous killings amongst our youths. The UDF & South African Church Council (SACC) intervened and peace was restored at last. Read more about Khutsong atrocities: ‘The killings of Southern Africa,Weldverdiend Spells Death, a story of overkill by Brian Oswin.’ The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Special Reports (TRC) about Khutsong,and Regional Profile Transvaal Chapter 6 Heart of Hope by O’ Malley.
The first victims of apartheid police brutality in khutsong were : Zondo Sithole and Shadrack Mzimkhulu “Mzoozie” Goliath killed in 1986 after he was allegedly planning to bomb the Khutsong police station and Khutsong Municipal offices.
The killing of Moozie was followed by the Khutsong massacre whereby police brutally killed more than 10 people when we were gathering at Khutsong Stadium planning to march to the Khutsong Police Station to hand a memorandum containing grievances against acts of police brutalities and killings of our people.
The period between 1989 to 1990, was characterised by a mixture of vigilantes but the focus was more on Anti -apartheid struggles. There was a time where the municipality was controlled by the Conservative Party (CP) and they introduced by-laws which intensified Separate Amenities Act, they prohibited blacks from the Park in-front of the C/ville Civic Centre and at other key points, there was also a curfew which prohibited blacks to walk on foot after 21h00. In response, awe embarked on a consumer boycott of all the shops in Carletonville. People went to buy as far as Randfontein & Westonaria. Some of our community members who defied our consumer boycott by buying in Carletonville, we forced to eat liquid soaps etc which were found in their parcels. This was pathetic because Africans were inflicting pain on their fellow Africans.
During 1989, the anti-apartheid struggles intensified and the community of Khutsong held a big mock trial of apartheid government authorities and of the Homeland surrogates at Khutsong Stadium.
The community also joined what was dubbed “Operation Vula” making the apartheid government ungovernable by for an example, mobilising and transporting the community of Khutsong to Carletonville to disrupt normal business at areas like Magistrate Courts, supermarkets and government service delivery key points.
During 1991/2,a group of Ma-Russians caused a terror within Khutsong at traffic circle, Sompane Road, which lasted for an hour. These people were attacking/assaulting every person they come across. The Community spontaneously retaliated by killing one of the Ma-Russian and others fled.
The period between 1993/94 is what I call the period of hope in the sense that the negotiations for a new political dispensation and new Constitution emerged. But in Khutsong, there were signs of internal divisions amongst the political leadership of us as ANC supporters. There were strange utterances from both leaders who reside in formal settlements and those staying in informal settlements not wanting to be led or controlled by the other.
This period was the most exciting in my political life-time because I witnessed and embraced the returning MK soldiers whom I missed so much and the date for the first Democratic Elections in South Africa was proclaimed.The ANC won with a landslide victory and Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first President of South Africa.
The period between 1994/99, was for the transformation of Local Government. The first Mayor of post apartheid Merafong was the late humble and subservient Mr Dan Ndzeku. There was political stability in Merafong during his tenure.
The period between 200/2004 was characterised by relative calm, the most devastating moment in my political life was in 2005, when my Government introduced the Constitutional Twelfth Amendment Act, 2005 and the Cross Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Act of 2005.
The demarcation of Merafong from Gauteng Province into North-West Province was met with widespread violent reactions ( it grossly divided the community of Khutsong) which resulted in the destruction of properties, disrupted schooling and the normal way of life and also resulted in wanton intimidation and the destruction of municipal and councillor’s properties.
In this period, 2013, anarchists, gangsterism and criminals have taken Khutsong over and are ruling the streets. The raping and murdering of children goes unabated, the community always live in fear because criminals force their way into their house even when owners are in the house. I think the freedom of the community is in their hands (a mass meeting can come with the solution) and I also wish to see a joint and concerted efforts by Khutsong churches to pray for this evil spirit hovering over the skies of Khutsong.