Soweto shooting memorial turned into political affair, say Nomzamo residents

The friends and family of the victims were gathered in a tent draped with ANC colours with the party's flags hoisted.

Family members of the Nomzamo tavern shooting take turns remembering their loved ones who died during the mass shooting. They’ve expressed utter devastation and called for the speedy arrest of the gunmen, 14 July 2022. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Politicking threatened to overshadow a ceremony meant to honour the lives of 16 people who were massacred at Mdalose's tavern shooting in Nomzamo, Soweto last weekend.

Some Nomzamo residents accused the African National Congress (ANC) of turning Thursday’s memorial service into a political affair.

The friends and family of the victims were gathered in a tent draped with ANC colours with the party's flags hoisted.

Residents complained they were not given the space to vent their frustrations and mourn likening the event to an ANC rally.

At the same time, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters showed up at the event donning their regalia and waving the party flag.

Disgruntled Nomzamo residents said the ANC took over what was supposed to be an apolitical event by chanting slogans and denying bereaved families the chance to speak about their tragic loss.

Earlier on Thursday, infrastructure MEC and ANC Gauteng Deputy Secretary General Tasneem Motara joined other members in distributing food parcels to some of the affected families.

ANC Gauteng Secretary Thembinkosi Nciza however, denied the event served the party's interests.

“It’s us who have organised it but we have opened it to everybody. It’s a memorial service for the whole community, that’s why there are one or two political parties that will speak here. Even when the ANC is doing good you want to find the bad in it."

The EFF’s Regional Secretary Muzi Tshabalala sat as a lone figure at the table decorated in ANC colours.

While he said he appreciated sharing the platform, he was quick to highlight the government’s failures.

An aunt of two of the deceased turned to the ANC officials, who included Joburg Regional Leader Dada Morero - and begged them to help rid the community of crime.

Residents who left the gathering insisted that the event was more about the politicians who were present.