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'It was all in vain': Sharpeville massacre survivors angered by govt neglect

Nearly 60 years later, some victims of the massacre have told Eyewitness News that 25 years into democratic South Africa, they are yet to see the Sharpeville they had imagined.

Wounded people lie in the street, 21 March 1960 in Sharpeville, near Vereeniging, where at least 180 black Africans, most of them women and children, were injured and 69 killed. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Sharpeville massacre victims said they feel ignored and neglected by the African National Congress (ANC)-led government despite sacrificing their lives.

In 1960, the small township in the Vaal became a symbol of the apartheid regime’s brutality when dozens of people were killed while they took part in a mass march against pass laws.

Nearly 60 years later, some victims of the massacre have told Eyewitness News that 25 years into democratic South Africa, they are yet to see the Sharpeville they had imagined.

Young adults stand idle along the streets in a neighbourhood surrounded by heaps of rubbish dumps, giving off a pungent stench.

The dusty road plagued by large potholes leads to the home of Selina Mnguni in Phomolong.

Mnguni was 23-years-old and three months pregnant when she joined thousands of others in the 1960 march that would define the course of South Africa’s political future.

The ensuing deadly confrontation with the apartheid police left her with a scar from a bullet on her left thigh, a constant reminder of that fateful day.

Now 82-years-old, Mnguni reflects on what’s happened since then, particularly around the lack of development and services in Sharpeville.

She blamed the ANC-led government for not adequately honouring the memory of the 69 people whose lives were sacrificed.

"I think they would not be proud, they would be crying just as I am. I'm not proud of Sharpeville."

Another massacre survivor, Daniel Pooe, was 21-years-old when he lost two of his friends.

Looking back almost 60 years later, he questions whether it was all worth it.

"It was all in vain, my two friends died, they were valuable but they died like dogs."

Both Mnguni and Pooe had wished Sharpeville would serve as a beacon of hope for those who fought for the country’s freedom.

WATCH: 'They forgot about us': Sharpeville almost 60 years later

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)