Prince interviews Thokozile Vilakazi from Inanda (Africa): 16 March 2013
Thokozile Vilakazi arrived at Inanda in 1978. She says that when she arrived Inanda was a peaceful place that had Indian and black people. “Inanda was very peaceful, Indians and blacks lived together at KwaMshayazafe, there was an Indian store and there were also Indian families living at Mtshebheni. This ended when blacks and Indians did not agree on certain matters”, she said. Thokozile Vilakazi does not know the exact reasons that led to the riots. When she arrived, she did not have any Indian neighbours, but she used to see Indians when she went to the shop. Regarding the ownership of land, when she arrived at Inanda she went to a man called Rodgers and bought a portion of land from him. She said, “I can say this was Rodger’s land and I paid R50 to him, he was a black man”.
When she arrived at Inanda there were already people living in certain places except for the place called Ematendeni (Inanda Newtown), which was a forest at that time. She says that some of the Indian stores that were burnt down during the riots were rebuilt and they are still owned by Indians. She feels that Inanda has changed compared to what it was like when she arrived. “Inanda is no longer a safe place, old women get raped and no one takes any action to stop that”, she says. In the 1980s they had a group called “Oqonda” which was formed by older men. This group was responsible for catching criminals and handing them over to the police, which made Inanda a safe place to live in.
With regards to the community benefiting from the heritage sites that have been established, she thinks some of the community members from Inanda do benefit from the sites. But she argues that her community (Africa) has not benefited from the sites. She says no development has taken place in Africa. Lastly she says that she prefers the old Inanda that was safe, than the one she is living in today.
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