Western Cape United Squatters Association (WECUSA)

Ngxobongwana who had been chairman of the WCCA in 1984, was arrested in early 1985 under security legislation. After his release he was detained on a criminal charge of intimidation and spent a long time in police custody. On being released for the second time, he left for the Transkei where he remained in voluntary exile until 1986 when he returned to Crossroads.

Upon arrival he started organising his Executive Committee, the Elders Committee and the Women`s Committee. He also instituted disciplinary proceedings against people perceived to be threat to his influence such as Prince Cabingca.  After leaving Crossroads, Cabingca, Toise, Kweliza, Jerry Tutu, Ntano, Yamile and Siphika formed the Western Cape Squatters Association (WCSA) with the exclusive purpose of undermining the leadership of Crossroads and Khayelitsha. The WCSA short-lived as it lasted for only one year. In its stead the Western Cape United Squatters of South Africa (WECUSA) was formed. Some of the prominent members of WECUSA included Conrad Sandile, Jeffrey Nongwe, Jerry Tutu, Christopher Toise and Isaac Kweliza. The aim of the organisation was to promote development in the Black communities and negotiations with local and provincial authorities.

Meanwhile Ngxobongwna was elected as Mayor of Cross roads in 1988. Tension between Ngxobongwana and Nongwe broke out leading to violent clashes that eventually forced the former to leave Crossroads and settle in Driftsands.  After his departure Nongwe assumed the leadership role at Crossroads with a double role as chairman of WECUSA and the chairman of the local branch of the ANC. WECUSA was then launched in 1989 as an alliance of pro-ANC squatter leaders especially those whose communities were violently destroyed by the ‘witdoekes’ in 1986.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission accepted that WECUSA initiated hit squad activities on members of the liberation movements from 1991.

Last updated : 30-Jun-2011

This article was produced for South African History Online on 30-Jun-2011