KZN graves: More questions than answers

2015-03-24 09:32
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and members of the provincial executive council visit the scene where about 100 graves were reportedly discovered on a sugarcane farm in Dududu. (Reinhardt Hartzenberg, KZN Office of the Premier. Sapa)

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and members of the provincial executive council visit the scene where about 100 graves were reportedly discovered on a sugarcane farm in Dududu. (Reinhardt Hartzenberg, KZN Office of the Premier. Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Amanda Khoza, The Witness

Durban - Instead of answering the many issues posed by the supposed presence of bodies at a South Coast farm, a visit to the site by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu on Monday presented more questions than answers.

Are there indeed 100 bodies, as has been speculated?

Are the remains those of humans?

If so, were they prison labourers?

Or were they political prisoners?

Why, eight months after the apparent discovery, has not one grave been exhumed?

Preliminary findings

Mchunu answered some questions yesterday based on preliminary findings and relying on information received from sangoma Bongekile Nonhlanhla Nkomo, whose vision led to the discovery of grave sites at Glenroy Farm in Zembeni village, Dududu, last year.

Unconfirmed reports have placed the number of remains at 100.

Mchunu was accompanied by members of the provincial executive committee including Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mnchunu, Arts and Culture MEC Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi, and Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Cyril Xaba.

Mchunu said his office would submit a report detailing their findings to President Jacob Zuma by Friday this week.

Zuma 'shocked'

Mchunu contacted Zuma last week, informing him about the discovery.

“He was shocked. I told him that we had plans to go to the farm. He said I should write him a report on the findings after I had gone there.”

Mchunu said the province would wait for a directive from Zuma on how to handle the matter.

“The president will tell us what to do from here. Maybe he will refer the matter to the national government, maybe he will want the province, national and traditional leaders to work together with investigators.

“We don’t know which authorities will be called to do the investigations on our behalf. If he says we should handle it, then we will, but until then we won’t do anything.”

Mchunu said the KZN Arts and Culture Department had been tasked to be the “eyes and ears of the provincial government”.

He said the government was gearing up for a mammoth task in investigating the deaths, which are believed to have occurred between 1960 and 1980.

It is believed by some that the remains are those of prisoners from Durban, who had been “bought” by farmer Walter Lindsay. The farm is now owned by Illovo Sugar.

Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  durban

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.