SEDIBENG municipality will go ahead with its plan to honour First Lady Sizakele Khumalo-Zuma tonight ahead of Human Rights Day on Sunday. This despite reservations by local residents.
The events commemorate the murder of 69 residents by apartheid security police in Sharpeville on March 21 1960. About 180 others were injured during protests against the dompas.
But residents of Sedibeng have mixed feelings about bestowing such an honour on MaKhumalo because they were not consulted when the decision was made.
Local resident Cedric Lebeko said the Sedibeng Municipality was honouring MaKhumlo to buy President Jacob Zuma's favour so that he will reserve Parliamentary seats for them.
"By honouring MaKhumalo they know that the president will be friendly to them. Zuma must make sure that he leaves his wife at home because tomorrow the municipality is going to shift the blame to MaKhumalo by saying they used money to honour her. These mayors do not deliver but when it comes to these events you won't stop them," complained Lebeko.
He said in 1985 the municipality honoured PW Botha. Later they claimed they used all the money for that event.
"Today they are bringing MaKhumalo here and they are going to take the dignity of Sharpeville and give it to her. It is unfair," he said.
Portia Mosebo, 20, said it was sad that MaKhumalo was coming to their area "simply because she is Zuma's wife".
"What Sedibeng municipality is doing is sad because they are honouring people who come from outside while the people who were part of the Sharpeville massacre are still not honoured."
Mosebo said people did not begrudge MaKhumalo but Sedibeng charity should begin at home.
"What they are doing is unfair - it was going to be nice if the people of Sharpeville were also honoured."
Fire Sebao, 27, rooted for the survivors of the massacre instead of MaKhumalo.
There was, however, one dissenting voice that believed this move was not so bad after all.
Palesa Sefudi said it was a good thing that MaKhumalo would be in Sharpeville. "MaKhumalo must come so that the municipality will pull up its socks and develop Sharpeville," Sefudi said.