Skierlik shooting commemorated
Johannesburg - The North West department of sport, arts and culture held a series of commemorative events in Swartruggens on the fourth anniversary of the Skierlik shootings, said the department on Saturday.
The events took place to commemorate the deaths of the four victims, including a three-month-old baby, who were shot dead by then 17-year-old Johan Nel in a race-related attack on January 14 2008.
Nel was sentenced to life in prison on November 21 of the same year..
Spokesperson Abe Mogashoa said the programme began at 08:00 on Saturday with events proceeding to the victims' grave site, known as the Garden of Remembrance, where a series of performances from all sectors of the community took place.
The North West MECs for sports, arts and culture, agriculture, public works, social development and education were present.
"A journey of a million kilometres begins with a single step on the path towards reconciliation," said Mogashoa.
He said the events were a way to help the community come together following the tragic events of 2008.
Mogashoa said the department was encouraging the use of sport as a means for children to get off the streets and pursue potential opportunities sport could bring.
He said the community were in the process of consultations with provincial stakeholders about changing the name of Skierlik.
Mogashoa said the department were going to encourage arts and culture participation at particular schools in the area as a way of improving the lives of those involved and also encourage the creation of an after-care programme at schools to care for students.