RESIDENTS have been urged not to avenge Kgomotso Diale’s murder.
Family, friends, residents and members of Operation Dudula gathered at Pimville Community Centre, Soweto, on Saturday 23 April for his funeral.
Kgomotso, who was also a community leader, was shot and killed during a meeting between Pimville and Chicken Farm squatter camp residents over allegations of cable theft on Monday 18 April.
There was a high police presence as mourners, believed to be Dudula members, shot firearms to say goodbye to him.
Community leader Thabang Moloi said: “I plead with you to let go of revenge and engage with our government and give it time to resolve our issues.”
Thabang apologised to Kgomotso’s family for the loss, saying he also feared for his life.
“We never meant to leave Kgomotso behind. We all ran because we were scared. We didn’t understand what was happening because we went there to talk,” he said.
He said in the days leading to Kgomotso’s death, the electricity kept going on and off.
Residents later learnt that Chicken Farm residents, mostly from Lesotho, were allegedly stealing cables and decided to hold a meeting.
They were joined by Dudula leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini in his capacity as a resident.
Thabang said he spoke to the men, dressed in traditional Sotho blankets, but all hell broke lose.
“One man took out his gun. I laid my hand on his shoulder to calm him down. Then another one took his rifle from underneath his blanket. We ran for our lives, dodging bullets,” said Thabang.
He said rifles, including AK-47s, were fired at random.
“This was not a Dudula march, as reported in the media. It was one community speaking to another. Dudula is not xenophobic,” he said.
Thabang and Lux said there were rumours that people were coming for them.
Lux urged the community not to take revenge, saying the Office of the Presidency of Lesotho had called to apologise.
“We are not going to make this battle about Basotho versus South Africans,” he said.