23 tombstones unveiled for Boipatong victims

Bertha Lerobane is still mourning the death of her mother who was killed almost 20 years ago during the Boipatong massacre in the Vaal.

Her mother Belinda, aged 63 at the time, was among 46 people who were attacked and killed in their homes by members of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Yesterday Lerobane was among the survivors and relatives who attended the unveiling of 23 tombstones of the victims.

"What I witnessed on June 17 1992 is still as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. I will not forget the screams of my defenceless mother when she was stabbed with spears all over the body," said Lerobane weeping.

She said on that fateful night , which shocked the world, she was sleeping with her mother and daughter Yvonne, who was aged seven at the time.

"We were sleeping at about 9pm when we were awoken by a loud noise. As we were about to leave the house and investigate what was happening, I saw a group of men armed with weapons entering the house. They asked my mother where my brother was," Lerobane said.

"She told them he was not at home and they started assaulting her. I ran to my bedroom, grabbed my child and hid under a wardrobe."

Lerobane said her mother ran to her bedroom. The attackers followed her and continued stabbing her until she was dead.

"She died in front of my eyes. One of the attackers tried to attack me and was stopped by a white man who told him that they should move to other houses."

Sedibeng mayor Simon Mofokeng said it would be wrong for them to forget about the fallen heroes.

"As government we thought we should improve the graves of our people who were brutally killed on June 17 1992," Mofokeng said. "That day will always be a historic moment in the lives of many because our people were killed for no apparent reason.

"Many families were left orphaned, while many others are still carrying the scarsto this day."