Sharpeville massacre survivors hope elections will bring change to township

Sharpeville massacre survivors have bemoaned a lack of change and development to their community, despite the sacrifices the township had to endure.

A rubbish heap in Sharpeville. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Sharpeville massacre survivors have bemoaned a lack of change and development to their community, despite the sacrifices the township had to endure.

In the build-up to what will be the country's sixth democratic national elections next Wednesday, Eyewitness News sat down with the survivors as they shared their experiences and disappointment.

“May this moment be remembered as a milestone in the struggle for a just and a free South Africa.”

It is here in Sharpeville in 1996 where now President Cyril Ramaphosa stood side by side with Nelson Mandela as the late statesman signed the Constitution into law.

But more than two decades later, Sharpeville massacre survivors feel that Ramaphosa and the government have forgotten about them.

“They should do a door-to-door visit and see that we live in poverty.”

Eighty-two-year-old Selina Mnguni was three months pregnant and shot by an apartheid officer while marching against pass laws in 1960.

She said the African National Congress (ANC) has not fulfilled its promises to uplift Sharpeville but still encourages voters, especially the youth, to give them another chance.

“I’m particularly happy when they vote for the organisation we know that liberated us; the ANC.”

Another massacre victim, Daniel Pooe, said he will be voting next week but it won't be for the ANC.

“The only talk is that they’re doing nothing. Ramaphosa is being wrong in that ANC business; he comes in and he’s now also deceiving us.”

As South Africans gear up for next week’s election, the community here is hoping their plight for a better life will be prioritised.

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

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)