Thokozile Vilakazi from Inanda Africa is interviewed about her memories of Inanda in the 1970s and 80s.
Inanda was a peaceful place when I arrived people were friendly towards each other, until blacks and Indians didn’t see eye to eye which led to the riots. Before Inanda riots Indians and black people lived together in one place. There was an Indian store at KwaMshayazafe, and there were some Indians at Mtshebheni who were neighbours with blacks. Mrs Vilakazi doesn’t know the exact reasons that led to the riots. When she arrived she did not have any Indian neighbours, she only saw Indians in shops around Inanda. Regarding the ownership of land, she bought a portion of land from a man with a name of Rodgers (died long time ago) and she paid R50 in late 1970s. When she arrived there were some people living in areas like Mshayazafe, but no one lived at Ematendeni as it was a forest (with gumtrees).
Some of the stores that were burnt do ashes during the riots are still operating today and they are still owned by Indians. She feels Inanda has changed; it is no longer the same as the old Inanda. Now the crime rate is high and no one is taking accountability for that as it happened before. We used to have a group of men called “Oqonda” who were responsible for catching criminals and handing them over to police. Today no one is responsible for all that, criminals do as they please. The place is not safe anymore.
Lastly as Inanda has some heritage sites, Mrs Vilakazi feels like some of the community members do benefit from these sites. But she says in Africa there is no development. She prefers the old Inanda than the one she is living in now.
Prince Mgabi and Thomas Makhabela, 16 March 2013
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