The Trust Feed massacre —25 years on

2013-12-02 00:00

TOMORROW will be the 25th anniversary of the Trust Feed massacre.

Trust Feed is a settlement near New Hanover. The event is of major historical significance because for the first time there was direct proof of the apartheid state’s involvement in fomenting the political conflict in the country — which had become known as “black-on-black violence” or the actions of a “third force”.

Trust Feed also stands out in post-apartheid South Africa as a leading example of reconciliation.

New Hanover police Captain Brian Mitchell was convicted of ordering and carrying out the massacre. He received 11 death sentences that were converted to life imprisonment in 1997. He was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and on his release sought forgiveness and reconciliation with the community.

Contacted by The Witness, Mitchell reflected on how the choice of a job led him down a dark path of South Africa’s history. If he had joined the motor industry and not become a policeman, he said, his life would have been vastly different. As he told the TRC, they were the foot soldiers following the orders of the politicians.

He remains deeply committed to the reconciliation project and is a friend of Thabani Nyoka, the son of massacre victim Sarah Nyoka.

Nyoka’s mother had appeared to him in a dream and told him to make peace and build the community.

Read the full story on page 9, “When the total onslaught hit a small village”; and “Trust Feed today: fading memories, fallen dreams and a long walk to freedom”.

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