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Boipatong massacre

Coordinates: 26°39′49″S 27°51′00″E / 26.66361°S 27.85000°E / -26.66361; 27.85000
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Boipatong massacre
Boipatong is located in South Africa
Boipatong (South Africa)
LocationBoipatong, South Africa
Date17 June 1992; 32 years ago (1992-06-17)
PerpetratorsSupporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party

The Boipatong massacre took place on the night of 17 June 1992 in the township of Boipatong, South Africa.



The attack on township residents was carried out by armed men from the steelworks residence KwaMadala Hostel, which is located about 1 km from the township.[1] Forty-five people died and several were maimed.[2][3][4][5]

The attackers were supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), rival party of the African National Congress (ANC).[2][6] At the time, the South African government and several other political groups were negotiating in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) talks. Shortly after the massacre, it was claimed by members of the African National Congress that the South African Police in cooperation with the IFP had organised the raid, and the ANC consequently stepped out of the negotiations.[7] It was also suggested[by whom?] that the raid formed part of the activities of the South African Defence Force's Operation Marion. The ANC resumed negotiations shortly after the Bisho massacre of 7 September 1992.

The massacre was mentioned in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 765 of 16 July 1992.[8]

A criminal trial held in 1993, which included testimony of 120 Boipatong residents, convicted IFP supporters of crimes in the massacre, but ruled that the police had played no part in it. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) concluded in 1998 that the police were in fact involved in the raid, but the TRC's Amnesty Committee found in 2000 that the police were not involved after all.[6]

Further controversy


In an interview with journalist Rian Malan in October 1998, Sergeant Gerhardus "Pedro" Peens, who claimed not to have been in Boipatong at the time of the massacre, admitted to being in Boipatong investigating a murder, driving a Casspir, but claimed that he had left prior to the massacre. Peens had previously denied having been at Boipatong in a Casspir at all. Peens' statement was later considered by the TRC in their investigations.[9] Peen's admission was prompted by the application for amnesty by sixteen Inkatha Freedom Party members for their part in the Boipatong massacre.[10]

The Goldstone Commission appointed Peter Waddington to make an independent enquiry.[11] His report was released on 22 July 1992. It stated that there was no evidence of police collusion in the killings.[5]

See also



  1. ^ BILL KELLERPublished: 20 June 1992 (20 June 1992). "South African Massacre: Fingers Point at the Police". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 January 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b "Truth Commission - Special Report". SABC. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014. Forty-five people died and 27 others were seriously injured on 17 June 1992
  3. ^ Smith, Janet (14 June 2012). "The Boipatong massacre: 20 years on". The Star. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  4. ^ South African History Online. "Scores of people are killed in Boipatong, Vaal". Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Waddington Report - The O'Malley Archives". Nelsonmandela.org. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "The Boipatong massacre revisited - The O'Malley Archives". Nelsonmandela.org. 30 November 2000. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 8 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld | Resolution 765 (1992) Adopted by the Security Council at its 3096th meeting, on 16 July 1992". Unhcr.org. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  9. ^ Staff Reporter (22 January 1999). "Cracks in Boipatong Story". Mail and Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  10. ^ Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "TRC Statement on Killing of Boipotang Residents, 2 July 1998". Archived from the original on 21 December 2013.
  11. ^ Waddington, Peter. "Waddington report on Boipatong". Retrieved 16 June 2012.

26°39′49″S 27°51′00″E / 26.66361°S 27.85000°E / -26.66361; 27.85000