THE brutal death of a Joe Slovo informal settlement resident and the subsequent burning of six shacks rocked the area this week.
The violence between the amaXhosa and amaMpondo groupings was followed by The Rep senior reporter Zolile Menzelwa over the past few days.
He recalled: “On Monday afternoon, The Rep received a call about the burning of shacks and fighting in the Joe Slovo area. I rushed there and upon investigation discovered the conflict had started around 9am on Monday following the murder of a Xhosa man, Vovo Ndlovu, allegedly by a group of amaMpondo men on Sunday evening.
“A total of five shacks had been burnt, with four belonging to the amaMpondo and one to the amaXhosa. Just before 6pm, a meeting was called between the two rival groups. The amaMpondo apologised for the incident and the amaXhosa accepted the apology on condition the former left the area. The matter was sent for consultation.
“After 5pm, young women were seen carrying bags. The women, who seemed to be preparing to leave the area, told me they were going back to Lusikisiki as they feared for their lives.
“At 1.38am on Tuesday, I received a call that a sixth shack, belonging to one of the arrested men, had been set alight. I arrived at Joe Slovo at 2.05am, entering the area just behind a police vehicle.
“Two more vans arrived, but after a brief exchange with some amaMpondo women, the police left.
“Concerned about the situation, I tried to make several calls to the municipality and the police, reaching Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality political head for community safety Adele Hendricks at 2.33am.
“During this time, a group of amaMpondo men and women were sitting on the grass outside, wrapped in blankets.
“Police arrived in three vans at 3.48am, driving slowly past the group and turning to drive out of the informal settlement again. They arrived again at 4am and spoke to ward councillor Anele Seyisi, who was on the scene, before driving off again. I could not establish what the conversation was about.
“At 4.20am, two police vans returned to the scene and parked a distance away from the group. Seyisi approached the vans and stayed there until 5am, when The Rep left.
“Hendricks remained behind with Seyisi and the rest of the amaMpondo people.”