How Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena survived massacre

FORMER Bafana Bafana captain Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena survived the Boipatong massacre to become a great soccer player.

Mokoena was only 12 years old at the time of the massacre in 1992. His family had to think quickly to save him.

"My mother dressed me in my sister's clothes and we hid at the Boipatong community hall. It was very sad and I only realised just how bad the following day," Mokoena said on Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the massacre.

Forty-five people were killed when Kwa-Madala hostel residents went on a rampage.

"I am glad that my family survived and I didn't lose any friends. The reason my mother dressed me in my sister's clothes was that young boys were being targeted.

"The following day we saw people coming back from work crying. That was when we realised just how serious the situation was. So it is important for young people, especially, not to forget this day," he said.

Sedibeng district municipality mayor Mahole Mofokeng recalled that fateful night.

"People were attacked and those who survived were maimed. The following day Winnie Mandela came. Later on Chris Hani also came.

"Later that afternoon FW de Klerk also came. His vehicle was stoned and it's a good thing that the police were there because it could have been worse.

"We are not victims, but rather survivors. We must create opportunities for young people to make a living for themselves," he said.

Mokoena and members of the Sedibeng municipality handed out blankets to the elderly at the stadium.

"The municipality, together with the Aaron Mokoena Foundation, donated blankets to the elderly.

"I will also give needy children at my former school, Makapane Primary, uniforms," he said.