I’ve been doing township tours for years – Soweto, Mamelodi, Khayamandi, Masiphumelele –  but to experience an in-depth political township tour, meeting the local candidates and dealing with the issues that our young democracy is facing is an experience that is not to be missed when wanting to get to the heart of South African politics. On the eve of local government elections, I was invited to participant on a Politcial tour of Gugulethu (Gugs) with a local resident and lecturer of Political Science at UWC, Kenny Bafo.

I’ve been doing township tours for years – Soweto, Mamelodi, Khayamandi, Masiphumelele –  but to experience an in-depth political township tour, meeting the local candidates and dealing with the issues that our young democracy is facing is an experience that is not to be missed when wanting to get to the heart of South African politics. On the eve of local government elections, I was invited to participant on a Politcial tour of Gugulethu (Gugs) with a local resident and lecturer of Political Science at UWC, Kenny Bafo.

I’ve been doing township tours for years – Soweto, Mamelodi, Khayamandi, Masiphumelele –  but to experience an in-depth political township tour, meeting the local candidates and dealing with the issues that our young democracy is facing is an experience that is not to be missed when wanting to get to the heart of South African politics. On the eve of local government elections, I was invited to participant on a Politcial tour of Gugulethu (Gugs) with a local resident and lecturer of Political Science at UWC, Kenny Bafo.

To understand life in Gugs, you need to understand Death!  Our first stop was the cemetery.  Kenny explains how the graves prior to 1994 with humble tombstones are mostly likely victims of political violence. The largest section of graves by far was more elaborate tombstones and mostly HIV-AIDS related deaths since 1994 .

All the murder spots in Gugs tell of a bitter and traumatic past. The first is the “Gugulethu 7” murder when back in 1986, apartheid security forces led by a Vlakplas based unit of the South African police shot and killed seven members of MK, the armed wing of the ANC. They were led into an ambush at the corner of NY1 and NY111 (Native Yard 1 and Native Yard 111) . Today the area has a memorial to the seven, the shadows of which form the shape of of there slain bodies.

Next we visited the site where Amy Biehl, a 26 year old American student, was stoned and stabbed to death by a mob in the township shouting anti-white slogans. Today some of the ‘political activists’ who killed her now work for the Amy Biehl Foundation to promote peace and democracy.

The last murder scene we visited was that of Anni Dewani, who  was allegedly murdererd by her husband whilst on honey moon in Cape Town. We are awaiting the outcome of the crime to understand the facts of what really happened.

From there we met went to the ANC offices and met with Ms Ntwanambi, chief whip of the ANC and ousted ANC provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatcha. A relevant question that arose was what the ANC could do to solve the lack of graveyard space! On the other end of the political spectrum we met with one of the few black DA candidates Andile Dube who said they changed allegiances as he was not happy with the ANC leadership style. You have to admire his perseverance in a challenging political climate where is he seen as  traitor. Last year, a Gugulethu voting ward was won by the DA.

Our last stop before going to Mzoli’s for a meaty lunch, was to Kenny’s old family home to meet his proud mother Cynthia who has been living here since 1976.

If you want to understand the complexities of a changing political scene in a modern established township such as Gugulethu, make sure it with Kenny as he knows everyone from the top political bigwigs to the awaiting trial criminials in the local community court!

To understand life in Gugs, you need to understand Death!  Our first stop was the cemetery.  Kenny explains how the graves prior to 1994 with humble tombstones are mostly likely victims of political violence. The largest section of graves by far was more elaborate tombstones and mostly HIV-AIDS related deaths since 1994 .

All the murder spots in Gugs tell of a bitter and traumatic past. The first is the “Gugulethu 7” murder when back in 1986, apartheid security forces led by a Vlakplas based unit of the South African police shot and killed seven members of MK, the armed wing of the ANC. They were led into an ambush at the corner of NY1 and NY111 (Native Yard 1 and Native Yard 111) . Today the area has a memorial to the seven, the shadows of which form the shape of of there slain bodies.

Next we visited the site where Amy Biehl, a 26 year old American student, was stoned and stabbed to death by a mob in the township shouting anti-white slogans. Today some of the ‘political activists’ who killed her now work for the Amy Biehl Foundation to promote peace and democracy.

The last murder scene we visited was that of Anni Dewani, who  was allegedly murdererd by her husband whilst on honey moon in Cape Town. We are awaiting the outcome of the crime to understand the facts of what really happened.

From there we met went to the ANC offices and met with Ms Ntwanambi, chief whip of the ANC and ousted ANC provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatcha. A relevant question that arose was what the ANC could do to solve the lack of graveyard space! On the other end of the political spectrum we met with one of the few black DA candidates Andile Dube who said they changed allegiances as he was not happy with the ANC leadership style. You have to admire his perseverance in a challenging political climate where is he seen as  traitor. Last year, a Gugulethu voting ward was won by the DA.

Our last stop before going to Mzoli’s for a meaty lunch, was to Kenny’s old family home to meet his proud mother Cynthia who has been living here since 1976.

If you want to understand the complexities of a changing political scene in a modern established township such as Gugulethu, make sure it with Kenny as he knows everyone from the top political bigwigs to the awaiting trial criminials in the local community court!

To understand life in Gugs, you need to understand Death!  Our first stop was the cemetery.  Kenny explains how the graves prior to 1994 with humble tombstones are mostly likely victims of political violence. The largest section of graves by far was more elaborate tombstones and mostly HIV-AIDS related deaths since 1994 .

All the murder spots in Gugs tell of a bitter and traumatic past. The first is the “Gugulethu 7” murder when back in 1986, apartheid security forces led by a Vlakplas based unit of the South African police shot and killed seven members of MK, the armed wing of the ANC. They were led into an ambush at the corner of NY1 and NY111 (Native Yard 1 and Native Yard 111) . Today the area has a memorial to the seven, the shadows of which form the shape of of there slain bodies.

Next we visited the site where Amy Biehl, a 26 year old American student, was stoned and stabbed to death by a mob in the township shouting anti-white slogans. Today some of the ‘political activists’ who killed her now work for the Amy Biehl Foundation to promote peace and democracy.

The last murder scene we visited was that of Anni Dewani, who  was allegedly murdererd by her husband whilst on honey moon in Cape Town. We are awaiting the outcome of the crime to understand the facts of what really happened.

From there we met went to the ANC offices and met with Ms Ntwanambi, chief whip of the ANC and ousted ANC provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatcha. A relevant question that arose was what the ANC could do to solve the lack of graveyard space! On the other end of the political spectrum we met with one of the few black DA candidates Andile Dube who said they changed allegiances as he was not happy with the ANC leadership style. You have to admire his perseverance in a challenging political climate where is he seen as  traitor. Last year, a Gugulethu voting ward was won by the DA.

Our last stop before going to Mzoli’s for a meaty lunch, was to Kenny’s old family home to meet his proud mother Cynthia who has been living here since 1976.

If you want to understand the complexities of a changing political scene in a modern established township such as Gugulethu, make sure it with Kenny as he knows everyone from the top political bigwigs to the awaiting trial criminials in the local community court!