Where women still weep

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

While thousands of women celebrated Women's Day yesterday, about 5000 women - among them disgruntled, unemployed, homeless widows from Inanda - met to discuss their plight.

The women are members of the organisation, Federal Urban and Rural Poor, most victims of the political violence that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal in the 1980s and 1990s.

Thirteen years into democracy, these women have yet to close this chapter of their lives.

Many still cry when they think of their painful experiences.

They said they had nothing to celebrate while they languished in dire poverty.

Virginia Sibiya, 72, said her son Dumisani, who was the family's breadwinner, had died at the hands of a gang of armed youth.

"He was shot twice in the stomach and died in front of my eyes. Ever since his death, life has been difficult for me," said Sibiya.

She said at the time of her son's death, they were not members of the ANC or the IFP.

"We were not members of a political organisation, but he was killed and no-one arrested," she said.

The organisation's president, Patrick Magebhula, said: "This is the face poverty, but no one is prepared to listen."