Munsieville Four to be reburied

Thabile Mange.

During the 1960s, Munsieville was regarded as one of the Pan African Congress (PAC) strongholds in Gauteng. The township was also a fertile ground for recruiting cell members, who held clandestine meetings in an open veld outside the location.

Acting on an instruction to attack and kill whites and State employees, four Poqo (PAC’s armed wing) members, who belonged to a cell in the township, attacked and killed a black police officer in Munsieville. The Poqo members, who were later dubbed the Munsieville Four, were apprehended for murder.

During their appearance in the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court, they denied that their motive for murdering a black police officer was politically motivated. They claimed the fight was over a woman with one of the accused. However, the State argued that the matter was politically motivated. The case was then referred to the regional court.

At the regional court, the Munsieville Four admitted that they belonged to a banned political movement – the PAC. By admitting that they belonged to the PAC, they tacitly admitted that their murder case was politically motivated. And the case proceeded as a political one.

They were found guilty of murder and charged under the Terrorism Act. They were then sentenced to death. During the same year (1963), they were executed in Pretoria and buried as paupers. However, their remains will soon be exhumed and given to their families for reburial. At least family members will have a chance to give their loved ones a decent reburial.

The story of the four Poqo members from Munsieville is not documented. There is nothing in our libraries, or on the internet. I’m busy trying to put a booklet together on the subject. The aim is to preserve our history by telling our own stories.

Thabile Mange

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