Stories | Countries | South Africa | Gertrude Moyana and Sarah Letanta

Photo by Brian Moody

Gertrude Moyana and Sarah Letanta are both victims of South Africa’s political violence. Gertrude was shot twice during 1993’s street fighting in Sharpville. Two years later, Sarah was shot three times.


It was a time of terrible bloodshed and violence; brother against brother, children being raped. Kehetisi from the IFP had been shot, and so the violence spiralled. I was shot twice while walking home from work. The first bullet went through the back of my thigh, breaking my hip. The next bullet went through my back and came out through my nipple. Two years later I came face to face with my assailant in court. But I didn’t hate him because I didn’t want to stay sick. Today I can walk only because I did not let hate sit in my heart.


I was walking down the street, carrying a baby, when I was shot. The baby wasn’t hurt, but I felt this weakness and my walking got slow. I held my side and it felt warm and damp. Then I collapsed. I was convinced I would die. I survived, but only just. I can never work again and life is very hard. I hate the people who did this to me. I’d like revenge.

The only relief I get is from talking to other victims like Gertrude.

I’ve tried to forgive but I’ve still got anger;  I’ve still got wounds and pains. The three bullets are still embedded in me. My pain never goes away, so I can’t forget.

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