Iminyaka Yemasotja eRobben Island

Kwakhiwa Kwendzawo Yemasotja Kusukela Kadzeni

©Roger de la Harpe
Iminyaka kusuka ku 1936 kuya ku 1960 bekuminyaka yekutsi le (Island) itichenye, muva kweminyaka yemphilo lengajabulisi. Lena bekuminyaka yemasotja lapho khona licembu lemasotja lihlala khona, livikile lomhlaba kutsi ungatsatswa ngema Jemeni. Ngo 1933, Adolf Hitler wakhula ngemandla eveni lase Jemeni, waba namacebo nekuhlela imphi leyamosha timphilo tebantfu labaningi, leyabitwa ngokutsi i (World War II).

Emuva eveni lase Skhwahlande, batsenjwa belive bahlukaniswa bangisi labeba hamba ne live lase (British). Ema Afrikana bekahambisana neJemeni. Loku kwabanga kungcundzana kwebaphatsi, emkhatsini kwe (J.B. Hertzog) necembu lakhe kanye ne Jan Smuts: Ngalesi khatsi inhloko yetokuvikeleka kungu Oswald Pirow, wasebentisa kungevani kwebantfu labasuka ngenhla kwemhlaba, kuhlokolota emasotja ase Skhwahlande.

Noma besebancume kuhlala bagadze kuhlaselwa ngema Jalimane noma beba lungiselela imphi yetepolitiki neMangisi, kundzima kusho. Pirow wabeka kutsi iRobben Island ngokwakhiwa kwayo ekungeneni kuya etafuleni, bekungaba yindzawo yetikhali tema sotja, wabese utfula iRobben Island yonkhe njenge ndzawo yemasotja. Kwatfunyelwa lesibhamu seMalahle entsabeni yase Robben Island, ngoba emandla aso lesibhamu abulala emafasitelo. Kwentiwa lamanye emachinga kute nayo iIsland ikwati kutivikela.

Indzawo Yemasotja leseRobben Island

©Roger de la Harpe
Kwaba nemphi ngomnyaka wango 1939. Kwagcwala imikhumbi yema Japani e (Indian ocean) kanye netitsa lebetinganakiwe tema Jemeni, e (Altlantic ocean), kwavele kwa caca kutsi iKapa ayika phephi. Inhlangano ye (Department of Public Works), yaniketwa umgomo wekwenta siciniseko kutsi i (Island) iyacina ngokwetikhali. 150 000 wetimfanelo tokwakha yatfunyelwa ngemikhumbi, ngesikhashane bese kwakhiwa imigwaco, tindlu tema sotja, indzawo yokwehlela tindiza, emabhilidi laphakeme kute bakwati kubona ekudzeni, tindzawo teku dubulela kanye nendzawo yoku lwela khona.

Lamaningi emabhilidi ehliswa, kwasebentiswa leto timfanelo tokwakha, kwakha indzawo yeku paka imikhumbi endzaweni yase (Murry’s Bay). Ekugcineni sitselo lesitsite sahlanyelwa kutfutfuta lizinga lemanti. Emalahle lamabili atibhamu asebentiswa, kwahlanganiswa lihlobo lesibhamu se 6’’ kanye ne 9.2’’ lesibitwa nge (Calibre gun). Bekunetipopolo tagesi lebetibuka indzawo yase (Blouberg) kanye nesinye sipopolo lesi buke ekungeneni, noma ngase sangweni. Ngesikhatsi semphi, tihlobo tetibhamu letibitwa ngema 3.7’’ nama (40mm), betifakwa titsiyelwe ebaleni, kanye neBhomu letsiyiwa nga gesi, kunamanye ambhomu lachunyiwe futsi endzaweni yase (Simons Town) ne Uandudno.

Bebatsembile kutsi baphephile ngetulu kwetitsa tabo, tintsambo tagesi leticeba noma ngabe ngubani lote ngemphi ngemikhumbi, betichunywe ngase lwandle. Kodva akuzange kuba nemphi eKapa futsi leto tibhamu atizange tisebentiswe emphini. Betisetjentsiswa kuvula imigodzi, kantsi futsi maku nemcimbi lokhetsekekile. Lapho khona bebashisa tihlahla bente umlolo lomkhulu, kodva kunjalo imikhumbi yase Jemeni yangena ngekushusha, kwangena imikhumbi leminingi.

Likhaya Lemasotja Lamanyenti

©David Fleminger
Kusuka ngesikhatsi setimphi kuya emuva, tinkhulungwane temasotja betihlala ngeku khululeka eRobben Island.Badubuli, bosonjinela, betokulapha,emasotja lahamba ngetinyawo emphini, emasotja elive lonkhe lase (British) kanye nase (South Africa), bahlanganiswa basebentiswa eRobben Island.

Kungeta, emasotja emakhalatsi ase (Re-formed Cape Corps) kanye nemasotja esifazane laphuma ku (Women’s Auxiliary Army Service), ngoku fishane I (WAAS), i (Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force), ngokufisha i (WAAF), kanye futsi ne (South African Women’s Auxiliary Naval Service), I (SWANS), basebentisana kucinisa kweto kuphepha eveni letfu.

Kwatsi imphi mayiphela ngomnyaka wanga 1945, emasotja lamaningi asuswa eRobben Island. Akukho lokwashintja ngendlela takhiwo kakhona betakhelwe kuvikela lendzawo, kwaze kwaba ngumnyaka wanga 1960, kodva umphakatsi lomncane webahlali watsatsa i (Irish Town) wayenta indzawo yabo. Bantfu labaningi laba talelwe khona, bakhumbula injabulo yakhona kanye nebuhle bakhona, nanje lendzawe ichelekile, kugcwele emasotja kanye nekubhoma kwemabhomu maku bhobotwa lokutsite.

Translated by Thandokuhle Motha