DUKATHOLE and Ntshona groups in Springvale Village outside Ixopo, southern KZN have ended a more than 50-year-old fight. The fight started in 1966 and stopped in 1987, but started again a few years ago, spilling over to schools. The groups, under Inkosi Bheki Dlamini of Amakhuze Traditional Council, conducted a cleansing ceremony on Sunday. Thousands of people gathered at the local hall to witness the ceremony, where the groups shook hands and signed a peace agreement under oath. As part of the cleansing, each group brought a bull and goats and presented them to Dlamini to ask for forgiveness for spilling blood on his land. Dlamini then led the groups to the river where two goats were slaughtered and impepho burnt to ask for forgiveness from those who died in the fighting. The ritual was conducted by a Ebuhleni Nazareth Baptist Church evangelist, who bathed the group in holy water.Dukathole leader Ndabayakhe Mbeje said the fight was senseless. He apologised to the inkosi and residents on behalf of his group for causing chaos in the village. He committed to his group ensuring lasting peace. Speaking on behalf of the Ntshona, Phillip Zondi also apologised to Dlamini. “We met two years ago and prepared for this cleansing ceremony, so we commit ourselves to maintaining and protecting it. We will work with police to ensure there’s lasting peace in our village,” said Zondi. The signing of the peace agreement was witnessed by Highflats station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Zandile Mtolo-Nguse and Dlamini. Dlamini thanked the groups for ending the fight and warned them against causing trouble.