Tag Archives: Inanda Riots
January 20, 2015

Joyce Themba Mthembu – memories of Inanda

PHOTO 05English summary of an interview with Joyce Themba Mthembu about her memories of Inanda on 24th September 2014. Interview and summary by Sanele Mthethwa

Joyce Mthembu said they arrived at eNanda in 1976, she was at the age of 19 to 20 years and started working at Butter. Joyce explained that during the time of apartheid the life was too hard for them; she said they used to wake up at 04:00 o’clock in the morning and go to work around 05:30. Transport was the main issue when they grew up in eNanda. The transport that they were using was called ukuthuthuka kwama Qadi which was a bus. During that time they were only using buses; later there were vans which used to take people who are going to work and offload them to the bus stops, then the buses would take them and leave them where they work.

Joyce said when you compare eNanda, the one that they live in now and the old one, there is a huge difference. She said shops are now near their homes, since they have Dube village as their closest shopping centre. She argued that the place has been developed so much; the transport is more available now compared to previous years. Joyce grew up during the time whereby they did not have tar road, they used to walk on gravel and in 1976 when she was going to work, and she used to carry shoes with her hands due to the mud, especially when it had rained; but now all that has changed. Among the infrastructure problems they had to face daily, she also mentioned how scarce water supply was, for instance they had to buy water for R1.00 a bucket.

Joyce talks about the war between Indian people and black people which is well known as iNanda riot. She said black people were abusing Indians taking their stuff and burning their stores. She said black people took everything which belongs to Indian people, for example television sets and food. After the riot, she points out the tension between Indians and blacks. She remembers the hard conditions black people had to work under at Pinetown Company called Butter, where she was also working. She says that Indian people were teasing them, calling them by names and saying things like “we saw you on television abusing Indians”.

Another thing that she remembers about eNanda is the conflict between Inkatha Freedom Party and African National Congress which started after iNanda riot and ended in 1994 after elections.

Joyce when she grew up during weekend she was cooking, cleaning, do washing and go to fetch water. Joyce said they were playing indigenous games when there were still young e.g. shumpu.


November 19, 2014

Interview with Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi about Thembalethu Primary School and Mshayazafe

IMG-20140924-WA0003Summary of an interview with Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi about Mshayazafe in Inanda:

Mr Mnqayi is one of the very few elderly men who came at Inanda at the age of 24 and became very active so that today he still resides in the community even though he was not born in Inanda. In the interview he speaks about being a co-founder of the Thembelethu primary School. Due to the ANC and the IFP Riots which lasted for ears from 1987 – 1990, the area was divided and ruled according to two parties, the IFP area and the ANC area. Those who were from the IFP area were not allowed in the ANC area and those from the ANC area were not allowed in the IFP area too. However this resulted to the children from IFP area being excluded from the ANC schools and there was a need for parents to intervene in such situations and Mr Mnqayi was the one and his idea became very successful. Mr Mnqayi further states that there was a high need for the school because their children were no longer safe once they are caught in the ANC area they get injured and even killed and there were no schools for their children at all and the Thembelethu Primary School was formed through the cottage that was left by the Indians while the blacks were forcibly invading the Indians houses, shops and farms.

In the beginning Mr Mnqayi talks about the environment of Inanda on how it was divided during the apartheid government; Inanda was divided into two – the white government and the Zulu government which was according to chiefs (Ubukhosi ) and great leaders (Izinduna).

Mshayazafe means ‘beat him/her to death’. That’s how the name Mshayazafe came about. Mshayazafe was a tavern that was owned by a woman, but you could swear it was a man, the way it was operating. Mshayazafe was having her bouncer who will take you out if  are troubling them and she was having her people specific for her tavern helping when there is someone whose troubling her. KwaMshayazafe you were not supposed to do wrong things because if you are caught they will beat you to death and when you are caught with the knife they beat you in such a way that no one can even try to help you; once you are caught you are dead already. However people enjoyed drinking and partying at KwaMshayazafe because this women was having radios and other equipment that were scarce at that time and because she was a women she used to cook (Usu) inyama yangaphakathi and sell it to her clients. So many people from different places such as eMawoti came to KwaMshayazafe to drink and also to play cards. There was a man called Nyathikazi, who was appointed by an Indian to give land to people who want to stay at Inanda. He was also a spy working with the Polish called Oqonda; he was from the KwaMshayazafe area, so when people want development they just used uMshayazafe and the place was called Mshayazafe Development but they can still point themselves that this one is from eZihlabathini,this one from Vutha, this one from Mnyama road etc.

Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi has a good memory because he was recalling the years in which these things took place and even the names of the people who were involved during their implementation of the school . He can recall everything and emphasised that you can go to any of the houses at Inanda, but you cannot find any information about Thembalethu Primary School and Mshayazafe Development. He also stressed the point that at school they had never done anything for him but only come to him when they want the history of Thembalethu primary School.

The sad thing, said Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi, is that heroes like him will only be recognised once they are gone!

Interview and summary:  Andile Mkwanazi 24 September 2014



July 11, 2013

Thokozile Vilakazi – Memories of Inanda

Thokozile Vilakazi from Inanda Africa is interviewed about her memories of Inanda in the 1970s and 80s.


English summary:
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

April 18, 2013

Memories of eNanda in the 1980s – Thokozile Vilakazi

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.

February 15, 2013

Sbu Ngcobo (Madlala) about the Inanda Riots

Interview by Thomas Mkhabela on 8 February 2013 with Sbu Ngcobo (Madlala) about his memories of the Inanda Riots.

Summary:  Sbusiso (Ngcobo) Madlala was born in 1971. He spent his childhood at the ACC (eMaChobeni) under the leadership of Pastor Shandu. He was not that much affected by apartheid since they were at the mission they followed the laws that were dictated by the mission. He moved to Newtown B in 1986 which was the time were eNanda was experiencing riots. He currently lives in Chesterville

Indians provided job opportunities for the blacks, so there was not much of an influx of people from eNanda to Durban to find jobs. The shacks that we know now are where the Indian farms used to be.

After the Indians moved to the Phoenix Settlement, none of the Indian owned shops were later opened by blacks after the riots have subsided, some of the walls of those shops are still standing.

The riots were caused by the blacks who claimed to be re-claiming their fore fathers land. But also politics did play a part in perpetuating the violence since there were ANC and InKatha (IFP) followers who also wanted to be the core group in eNanda. Police did not provide much of help then the SANDF (South African National Defence Force) were called in and they were staying at halls and passing out tents to the homeless.

Mr Madlala knows of other places in Durban that also experienced riots places like Cato Manor, it was an Indian and black community and they were living in harmony until the blacks started the violence and lots of Indians moved away.

Mr Madlala prefers the older eNanda than the present day one due to the higher rate of crime and other negative aspects of it, which were not there in the olden days. But this is not the reason why he moved to Chesterville.

Listen to the recording in isiZulu: Sbu Ngcobo (Madlala)