Mass funeral for the victims of Bisho massacre

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Bisho Massacre

Friday, 18 September 1992

More than 70 000 angry mourners gathered at King William's Town, to pay their respects to the victims of the Bisho Massacre, who were shot to death by the Ciskei Defence Force troops on 7 September 1992. Many who gathered wanted to hear the speeches from leading African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party members such as Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani and other leading members of these two organisations. Sisulu told mourners that no part of South Africa should be a no-go area and this included the 'Homelands'. He said that the ANC holds F. W. de Klerk's government responsible for creating the homelands, and for providing them with financial, security and political support that had failed to stop Oupa Gqozo, 'homeland' leader, from committing such a horrendous act against mankind. This sentiment was echoed by the US Department of State, the Commonwealth and United Kingdom.

Chris Hani called for revenge and that Gqozo should pay for the massacre, as there was nothing accidental about Bisho, as the Ciskei Defence troops had claimed. He stated that it was a strategic operation between Gqozo and de Klerk's regime against liberation movements, to thwart any effort of political stability in Ciskei.

References:
• Fraser, R. (1990). Keesing's Records of World Events, Longman: London, p. 39078.
• SAHO Bisho Massacre 1992 [online] Available at: www.sahistory.org.za [Accessed on 18 September 2013]  

Last updated : 18-Sep-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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