Since the killings began in March 2014, 100 people have died in Glebelands Hostel-related violence – either violently from hitmen’s bullets, or more slowly, from stress-induced illnesses caused by the fear of living daily in the shadow of death. With a death toll now reaching almost four times the number of people killed at Marikana – which evoked worldwide outrage, political humiliation, commissions of inquiry and support groups – it is instructive to reflect on the state and society’s response to Glebelands’ ongoing slaughter.
On Friday 15 September the Durban Magistrate’s Court sentenced Mxoleleni Hopeson Bhani to life imprisonment for the murder of Sipho Ndovela, killed on 18 May 2015 at the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court, and 12 years for the attempted murder of another Glebelands resident. But there were others – police members – also implicated in Ndovela’s murder. Bhani did not act alone. Glebelands will never be free of violence and fear unless officers colluding with killers are brought to book. The late Sipho Ndovela was the former Block 56 chairperson. He ran a small tuckshop and provided security at a nearby taxi rank.