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ANC councillors facing murder charges to return to court

 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

ANC councillors facing murder charges to return to court

Two ANC councillors facing charges of murder, Mduduzi (Nqola) Christian Ngcobo and Luvelile Lutshelu, are due to appear in the Durban High Court on Monday, 1 February 2016. These alleged izinkabi (hitmen) are charged with assassinating Thuli Ndlovu, Abahlali baseMjondolo KwaNdengezi Chairperson and a senior leader member of our movement, on 29 September 2014. Both suspects are councillors of the ruling party and the party has protected them despite these serious allegations. We are told that they are still working for the party and receiving their normal salaries. Continue reading

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Occupy, Resist, Develop

18 December 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Occupy, Resist, Develop

The year 2015, the tenth year of the existence of our movement, has almost come and gone. On the 3rd of October we gathered at the Curries Fountain Stadium to celebrate ten years of struggle. More than four thousand comrades participated in the celebration. We have survived years of serious repression – including arrests, assaults, torture, imprisonment, the destruction of our homes, slander and assassination. In these ten years we have won many victories in the struggle for land and dignity. Continue reading

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The Struggle Continues: A Road Blockade, Two Comrades Shot

Tuesday, 03 November 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The Struggle Continues: A Road Blockade, Two Comrades Shot

The struggle continues after our successful celebration of our ten year anniversary at the Curries Fountain stadium.

Road Blockade in Sisonke Village

Yesterday the Sisonke Village Abahlali branch (Lamontville) took to the street and blockaded the road after a long wait for a ward councillor to respond to their demand. The community of Sisonke have been in the area for fives years without water, electricity and toilets. Instead they have faced constant illegal and violent evictions. The local leadership of AbM have tried to have meetings with the ward councillor and wrote letters to her but she never responded. Continue reading

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Statement of Solidarity with Protesting Students

20 October 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Statement of Solidarity with Protesting Students

The whole country is watching the struggle of the students at universities around the country.

When we began our struggle ten years ago we felt that we were on our own. Today workers and students are also in struggle. Many are now organised outside of the ruling party that has so brutally repressed our struggle and many other struggles. We no longer feel that we are on our own. This is a time of new hope. Continue reading

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The Thuli Ndlovu Memorial Lecture Has Been Rescheduled

Thursday, October 08, 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The First Annual Thuli Ndlovu Memorial Lecture

The First Annual Thuli Ndlovu Memorial Lecture, in honour of our comrade assassinated in KwaNdengezi on the 29th of September last year, was scheduled to take place on the 24th of September 2015.

The lecture was disturbed by the taxi strike that was going on at that time. Only 178 comrades were able to reach the venue on foot. A decision was taken to hold a meeting and to reschedule the lecture for another time. Continue reading

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Keynote address delivered at Curries Fountain Sports Ground, Durban, by S’bu Zikode

3 October 2015

Tenth Anniversary of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA

Keynote address delivered at Curries Fountain Sports Ground, Durban, by S’bu. Zikode

I want to start with people that matter the most: Respected members of Abahlali basemjondolo. Leadership of Abahlali, supporters and friends of our movement. Comrades from the Congolese Solidarity Campaign, comrades from Rural Network, comrades from the United Residents’ Front, comrades from the United Front, comrades from South Durban Community Alliance, Unemployed People’s Movement, comrades from the R2K, comrades from Church Land Programme, comrades from the Norwegian People’s Aid, comrades from the Socio-Economic Right Institute of South Africa, church leadership that has accompanied us and continues to journey with us. Comrade Richard Pithouse, comrade Marie Huchzermeyer and comrades who have travelled from other parts of South Africa to be with us today. There are comrades from Cape Town and Johannesburg who are amongst us here. There are comrades who have travelled from abroad that I want to acknowledge – comrade Nigel Gibson from Boston, USA. Continue reading

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Celebrating a Decade of Struggle

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Celebrating a Decade of Struggle

On the 19th of March 2005 residents of the Kennedy Road settlement in Clare Estate in Durban organised a road blockade. There were fourteen arrests. This event began a process of discussion with residents of nearby communities and on the 6th of October 2005 our movement was formed. During the last ten years we have survived serious repression, including assassinations, and won many victories. On the 3rd of October we will celebrate a decade of struggle at an event at Curries Fountain, Durban, from 10:00 a.m. to 16:00 a.m. Continue reading

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The First Annual Thuli Ndlovu Lecture

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The First Annual Thuli Ndlovu Lecture

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA will be launching an annual lecture in honour of Thuli Ndlovu. Thuli Ndlovu was assassinated in cold blood on 29 September 2014. The first lecture will be held close to the first anniversary of the assassination, on 24 September 2015. We will continue to hold the Annual Thuli Ndlovu Lecture every year in September.

Thuli was a mother of two girls, a daughter, a fearless activist and the Chairperson of our branch in KwaNdengezi near Marianhill. She resisted the repressive and undemocratic practices of Nqola, an ANC ward councillor. She led the struggle against the sale of land and corruption in the allocation of land in KwaNdengezi by Nqola, one of the gangster councillors in the ANC in Durban. Continue reading

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Land Occupations are Urban Planning from Below: A Response to Ravi Pillay, Mbulelo Baloyi & Nigel Gumede

Thursday 10 September 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Land Occupations are Urban Planning from Below: A Response to Ravi Pillay, Mbulelo Baloyi & Nigel Gumede

After apartheid the new Constitution (1996), and then the Prevention of Illegal Eviction [PIE] Act (1998), gave some protection to people occupying land without the permission of the state or the capitalists. It was still possible for people to be evicted but only after an order of the court had been issued. In 2005 the Constitutional Court insisted that the Act “expressly requires the court to infuse elements of grace and compassion into the formal structures of the law”. When evictions were allowed they were not supposed to be carried out violently or to leave people homeless. Continue reading

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GroundUp: Cato Manor’s struggle against state repression

Ndabo Mzimela, GroundUp

Cato Manor has a long history of struggle and repression. Women have often been in the forefront of these struggles. This history is well known in Durban. Many families from KwaMashu have roots in Cato Manor. KwaMashu was created to house some of the people forcibly removed from Cato Manor under the Group Areas Act. They were taken from land in the city where they had some autonomy and moved out of the city to a segregated township under strict control of the apartheid state. Continue reading

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Two ANC Councillors to appear in the Durban High Court after being charged with the murder of Thuli Ndlovu

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Two ANC Councillors to appear in the Durban High Court after being charged with the murder of Thuli Ndlovu

Mduduzi Christian Ngcobo, also known as Nqola, an ANC councillor in KwaNdengezi Ward 12 and his comrade PR councillor Luvelile Lutsheku are due to appear in Durban High Court tomorrow to answer to the charge that they are responsible for the murder of Thuli Ndlovu. The two councillors have been appearing in the Pinetwone Magistrate’s court for several times and had received a bail of R10 000 each. A few weeks after being given bail Nqola was rearrested and charged with attempted murder in KwaNdengezi after he was caught firing shots at some people. Just last week Nqola was given a bail again. Continue reading

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Breaking news: Abahlali baseMjondolo has won an important victory in in the Durban High Court against the MEC for Human Settlements and the eThekwini Municipality

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

Breaking news: Abahlali baseMjondolo has won an important victory in in the Durban High Court against the MEC for Human Settlements and the eThekwini Municipality

The MEC sought the confirmation of an interim order which, he said, permitted him to restrain the “invasion” of over 1000 properties within the Durban area, by directing the eThekwini Municipality and the Police to “take all the necessary steps to prevent any persons from invading or occupying the properties” to “remove any materials placed” on the properties and “demolish any structure” placed on the properties.

The order was granted in March 2013. Since then, it has been used to evict many hundreds, if not thousands, of poor people living in shacks on open land in Durban. Two of the affected communities: Sisonke Village (formerly known as Madlala Village and represented by the LRC in Durban) and Cato Crest (represented by SERI) together with Abahlali, acting in the public interest and on behalf of its members intervened in the case in order to have the interim interdict set aside.   Continue reading

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Abahlali will be Back in the Durban High Court this Thursday, 20 August, to receive the judgment that has been reserved since 21 May 2015

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Abahlali will be Back in the Durban High Court this Thursday, 20 August, to receive the judgment that has been reserved since 21 May 2015

Following repeated brutal and unlawful evictions at a gun point by the eThekwini Municipal Land Invasions Unit in Cato Crest (the Marikana land occupation) and Lamontville (Sisonke Village) Abahlali won several court interdicts. Each and every time we secured an interdict, or an undertaking from the Municipality to cease its illegal behaviour, the interdicts and undertakings were ignored and they continued with their violent and unlawful evictions. It is clear that the eThekwini Municipality considers itself to be above the law and impoverished black people to be beneath the law. Continue reading

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Women’s Assembly to Build Women’s Power

08 August 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League Statement on Women’s Day

The Abahlali Women’s League will be honouring the power of those women who organised a march to fight for the rights of all women in 1956. We wish to salute the women who said “enough is enough” and ‘no more dompass woza ID’. Now is our time to make a difference. We will honour the women who marched in 1956 by holding an assembly of the women to build women’s power in our communities, in the struggle and in society.

The assembly of the women will be held at 9:00 on Monday 10 August at the Hindu Surat Hall in Prince Edward Street. Each branch has been invited to elect 15 women to attend. Continue reading

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Road Blockade Happening in Siyanda Now

Thursday, 30 July 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Road Blockade Happening in Siyanda Now
The ANC in eThekwini now support land occupations but only ANC members are allowed to build

When we began our struggle in 2005 the ANC was attempting to ‘eradicate’ shacks. We successfully opposed attempts to ‘eradicate’ numerous shack settlements in different parts of Durban and smaller towns in KwaZulu-Natal. We have also supported many land occupations which we see as the ‘peoples’ land redistribution programme’ or ‘land reform from below’ and as a form of ‘grassroots urban planning’. The ANC has long referred to land occupations, which they have called ‘land invasions’, as criminal acts and have used state violence and other forms of repression to try and prevent them. Continue reading

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AbM Youth League Youth Day Statement

15 June 2015
Abahlali Youth League press statement on June 16

This year we will use the well celebrated youth month to build our own power from below through the University of Abahlali.

Our grand parents have struggled against colonialism and our parents have struggled against apartheid. Our brothers and sisters of 1976 have also struggle against all forms of discrimination and oppression. Today we wish to salute all their determination for real freedom and real democracy. While they were fighting these battles they also had a responsibility to bring us up. We feel that we have to do the same and not watch them when they have to struggle twice. It is our turn as young people to make sure that we have real democracy and real freedom today. The South African youth of 1976 contributed so dearly and paid a high price for the freedom that we continue to struggle for. Continue reading

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Back to the Durban High Court

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Back to the Durban High Court

Following several brutal and unlawful evictions at a gun point by the eThekwini Municipal Land Invasion Unit in Cato Crest (Marikana land occupation) and Lamontville (Sisonke Village) Abahlali baseMjondolo won several court interdicts against the Municipality. Each and every time we secured an interdict, or an undertaking from the Municipality to cease its illegal behaviour, the interdicts and undertakings were ignored and the Municipality continued with their violent and unlawful evictions. It is clear that the eThekwini Municipality considers itself to be above the law and impoverished black people to be beneath the law. Continue reading

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UnFreedom Day 2015: 21 years of Exclusion and Repression

24 April 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

UnFreedom Day 2015: 21 years of Exclusion and Repression

Once again ‘Freedom Day’ is here. Once again we will be told that we are free. Once again we will be lectured about our about freedom and told to accompany the politicians, businessmen and the rich to their stadiums.

21 years of shack life has not been easy for us. In 21 years of ANC rule lies and evictions have become the order of the day. The land has not been restored to the people. Our dignity has been vandalized. In 2005 we delcared our humanity. The response of the ANC has been lies, the denial of life saving basic services, arrest, assault, imprisonment, illegal evictions, torture, armed attacks by members of the ruling party, the destruction of our homes by members of the ruling party and assassination. The vandalization of our humanity has become even more extreme. We are not alone. We do not forget Marikana. We do not forget all the people murdered by the police on protests around the country. We do not forget all the harassment and violence against people born in other countries. Continue reading

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Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement on the Ongoing Xenophobic Attacks

Tuesday 14 April 2015 – 5:22 p.m.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement on the Ongoing Xenophobic Attacks

A view from below – umuntu ungumuntu ngabantu

There is a war in our city. Our African brothers and sisters are being openly attacked on the streets.

In 2008 our movement stood firm against the attacks on people born in other African countries. We committed ourselves to shelter and defend our brothers and sisters. There were no attacks in any of our communities.

For some time now we have been working very closely with the Congolese Solidarity Campaign. We have been working to build a politic from below that accepts each person as a person and each comrade as a comrade without regard to where they were born or what language they speak. In this struggle we have faced constant attack from the state, the ruling party and others. We have been attacked for having members from the Eastern Cape, members born in other countries and Indian members. We have always stood firm against these attacks. Our movement has survived almost ten years of repression. Continue reading

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March Against Xenophobia in Durban – 8 April 2015

Organized by Congolese Solidarity Campaign “CSC” and other foreign nationals, supported by Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA

P.O.BOX 421

DURBAN 4000 RSA

congolesesolidaritycampaign@gmail.com

AFRICA IS UNITED AGAINST XENOPHOBIA

On Wednesday 08 April 2015, Congolese Solidarity Campaign “CSC” together with Somali Association of South Africa “SASA” and other foreign nationals supported by Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA will be having an Anti-Xenophobia March to demand an end to the current wave of xenophobic violence against foreign nationals.

We are united in our common outrage at the brutal acts of the current wave of xenophobic violence against foreign nationals unleashed over the last few weeks and which shows no end insight, it is important to remember that these horrific acts that have spurred us into action are the result of many years in which xenophobic attitudes, practices, and beliefs have been allowed to exist and proliferate amongst all of us. Continue reading

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ISiyanda branch celebrates Electricity Installation, its Sixth Anniversary & Re-launches its Branch

Friday, 27 March 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

ISiyanda branch celebrates Electricity Installation, its Sixth Anniversary & Re-launches its Branch

It is with great pleasure that impoverished people on our own can achieve what was thought to be impossible sometime ago. It is with great pleasure that Abahlali can organise to build our power from below to use the state to develop and transform the lives of the impoverished without seeking permission from politicians or giving up our autonomy to the ruling party.

The neglected community of Siyanda VN Naik, just like many other Abahlali communities, has been denied the right to land and housing. We have been denied the right to essential services such as water and sanitation and electricity. When we started our movement in 2005 these services were denied to all shack dwellers in Durban. The government claimed to provide water but there would be a few taps for settlement of thousands of people. They claimed to provide sanitation but this only existed on paper. They openly refused to provide us with electricity claiming that our settlements, even when they were more than 30 years old, were ‘temporary’. Continue reading

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Two ANC Councillors will Appear in Court Today to On Suspicion of Being Responsible for the Assassination of Thuli Ndlovu

20 March 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Two ANC Councillors will Appear in Court Today to On Suspicion of Being Responsible for the Assassination of Thuli Ndlovu

Thuli Ndlovu, our chairperson in KwaNdengezi, was assassinated in cold blood on the 29th September 2014 at her home. On 30 September 2013 Nqobile Nzuza was murdered by a police officer in Cato Crest during a protest. She was shot in the back of the head. Nkululeko Gwala was assassinated in Cato Crest on the 26 June 2013. Thembinkosi Qumbelo was assassinated in Cato Crest on 19 March 2013.

Continue reading

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Statement on the Murder of Mr. Noel Dintshiantshia

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolol & Congolese Solidarity Campaign joint press statement

 

Statement on the Murder of Mr. Noel Dintshiantshia

Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Congolese Solidarity Campaign “CSC” are saddened by the sudden death of Mr. NOEL BEYA DINTSHIANTSHIA, who was killed by petrol bomb while he was on duty on Friday night last week. He was working at the BUFFALO BAR, owned by Mr. Naidoo, as a bouncer on the corner of Commercial and gardener Street in the city of DURBAN.

According to the deceased last words before he died, there were some customers who were making a noise and disturbing other customers at the liquor outlet. The owner sent him to tell them that they should respect other customers, but they did not listen. They continue to make noise. The owner sent him to take all of them out and make sure that they are not coming back. Continue reading

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Statement for the Human Rights Commission Hearings Relating to Access to Housing, Local Government and Service Delivery

Yesterday Abahlali baseMjondolo presented to the Human Rights Commission in Johannesburg. This is the statement that was sent to the Commission in advance of the hearings.

12 February 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo

Statement for the Human Rights Commission Hearings Relating to Access to Housing, Local Government and Service Delivery

We first met on the 5th of January 2015 to begin the process of developing a response to the questions asked by the Human Rights Commission and we concluded the process on the 12th of February 2015.

We note that we have been invited to the hearings as a civil society organisation. We would like to begin by stating that we do not identify ourselves as a civil society organisation. Mostly when people talk about civil society what they mean is NGOs. Most NGOs have no members and no mandate to represent anyone. When NGOs are taken to represent the people in the name of civil society this is one more way of excluding oppressed people from important spaces and discussions. Some NGOs are as hostile to democratic membership based peoples’ organisations as the worst elements in the state. We are also not a political party. We are a democratic membership based movement of shack dwellers and other poor people (umbutho wabantu). We currently have twenty two branches in good standing in KwaZulu-Natal, and one in Cape Town, and just over 11 000 individual members in good standing. The government, and some NGOS, have always been saying that our movement will not exist in a year’s time. They are always excitedly announcing the death of our movement. But this year we will be celebrating ten years of our existence. Continue reading

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Occupiers Attacked by ANC Mob in Verulam

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Occupiers Attacked by ANC Mob in Verulam

Last night and this morning around a hundred families occupying municipal flats in in Hammond’s Farm in Waterloo, Verulam, North of Durban came under sustained attack by an ANC mob and then the Land Occupations Unit, both acting with the support for the police.

The flats were occupied in November 2014. They had been left empty for years and it is alleged that the councillor from ward 58 began selling them for a minimum price of R10 000 each. At this point homeless residents took the decision to occupy. Continue reading

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International organizations call on South Africa to protect leaders of shack-dwellers from attacks

New York, 8 December 2014. The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) sent a letter on December 5, 2014 to the President of the Republic of South Africa to express serious concern regarding a recent wave of alleged assassinations, threats, arbitrary detentions and other acts of violence and intimidation against leaders of Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Abahlali baseMjondolo (Abahlali) is a movement of shack dwellers of South Africa which campaigns to improve the living conditions of low income people living in informal settlements on the outskirts of South Africa’s major cities, in particular in relation to the right to adequate housing, access to essential services, and protection from forced evictions Continue reading

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Three International Cities Protest for #handsoffabahlali

http://www.tmponline.org/2014/11/18/hands-off-abahlali/

“We will build houses for you, it is not something we can achieve overnight”

– Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, 1994 [link to video]

“We have learned that by demanding decent housing we make enemies, and that by occupying land we make those enemies even more ruthless. But we cannot wait in the mud, shit and fire of shack life forever.”

– S’bu Zikode, founding President of Abahlali baseMjondolo, 2013 [link to text]

In South Africa, two black women were violently killed by probable state actors to little public reckoning. These women though killed in separate instances were both active members of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) the shack-dwellers movement which has challenged local ANC rule for better housing and exposed local corruption. Continue reading

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Solidarity Statement from Sao Paulo

STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO

We, the undersigned, representatives of social movements, not-for-profit organizations, national and local authorities and policy makers, professionals, academics and researchers and representatives of international organizations from 26 countries, have gathered in the city of Sao Paolo, Brazil between November 12 and 14, 2014 to advance a Right to the City.

We wish to express our grave concern regarding reoccurring acts of intimidation, threats, arbitrary detentions, assassinations and other acts of violence that are being perpetrated against Abahlali baseMjondolo, movement of shack-dwellers of South Africa who are working to advance the rights of the urban poor to decent homes, the right to the city, and to build a society based on respect, equality, justice and human dignity for all.

We unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and abuses committed against the leaders and members of Abahlali baseMjondolo. Continue reading

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Mass Prayer Tomorrow

Friday, 14 November 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Mass Prayer Tomorrow

On the 15 November 2014 we are going to have our last General Meeting of this year 2014. We normally have General meetings (whereby all members are invited to gather to share ideas) each and every month. We have decided to hold a mass prayer at the final General Meeting for this year given that our Movement is currently under attack and facing repression. Continue reading

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Two Comrades Arrested in KwaNdengezi

Update – Two more comrades have now been arrested. Police bail has now been secured for all four comrades.

Friday, 14 November 2014
Abahlali baseKwaNdengezi Press Statement

Two Comrades Arrested in KwaNdengezi

At around 20:00 last night to Abahlali baseMjondolo members were arrested in KwaNdengezi. They were arrested by police officers in plain clothes and driving unmarked cars. They were not told why they were arrested and up until now they are not yet charged let alone to appear before court. Theexplanation from the Station Commissioner of SAPS KwaNdengezi is that they will not be taken to court since a 48 hour period has not expired yet. It is clear that as usual their arrest was timed so that they could be held for Friday and through the whole weekend. We fear for their safety while they are in police custody. Continue reading

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A Shack Fire in the Foreman Road shack settlement in Clare Estate, Durban has Claimed Two Lives

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

A Shack Fire in the Foreman Road shack settlement in Clare Estate, Durban has Claimed Two Lives

Yesterday we had a very successful march, together with our Congolese comrades, against the politic of death. Early this morning two residents of the Foreman Road shack settlement lost their lives in a huge fire. We are the people that can be freely murdered without consequence. We are also the people that are left to live like pigs in the mud and to die in shack fires.

For almost ten years we have been struggling to force the state to take shack fires seriously. We have won many victories over the years but we remain the people that are left to burn. Every time there is a fire the politicians and the police rush to blame us for the fire. They never blame the conditions in which we are forced to live. They never meet with us to work out a way to improve these conditions. We will not rest until we have forced this society to recognise and respect our humanity. Continue reading

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Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Durban Congolese Refugee Commiunity to March on Saturday

Thursday, 06 November 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo joint press statement with the Durban Congolese refugee community

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Durban Congolese Refugee Community to March on Saturday

We do not count to this society and this world. We can be driven from our homes, beaten, tortured and murdered with impunity. We are placed outside of citizenship and even humanity. When we insist on our dignity, when we take our place in the cities and in the discussions and when we resist the violence that constantly rains down on us like an endless storm we are shown to the world as criminals. We are expected to suffer and die in silence. We are expected to leave a world for our children in which their only future is suffering. We are not alone in having to live under this cruelty. In Palestine, in Haiti, in the Congo and in the favelas of Brazil and the gecekondus of Turkey it is the same.

It is our responsibility to build a new politic, a politic that respects the dignity of all people, a politic that restores the land and wealth of the world to the people, a politic in which there are no people that can be freely driven from their homes and freely killed, a politic in which everyone counts. Continue reading

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Twenty Years of Hell in Shacks

20 October 2014

Twenty years of hell in shacks

Presentation to the DDP Conference on ‘Twenty Years of Local Democracy in South Africa’, Durban, 20 & 21 October 2014

By S’bu Zikode

Twenty years of local democracy in South Africa has been very cruel for Abahlali baseMjondolo and for millions of other poor people. It has been twenty years of hell in shacks. It has been twenty years of living like pigs in the mud. It has been twenty years of living with rats, floods, fire and rotting rubbish. It has also been twenty years of evictions and forced removals to transit camps and other human dumping grounds. For those of us who have stood up for our humanity our reward has been lies, assault, torture, wrongful arrest, the destruction of our homes and even assassination. Continue reading

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The ANC and SACP are Building Shacks in the Marikana Land Occupation with the Permission of the Ward Councillor and Municipal Security Guards

18 October 2014
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

The ANC and SACP are Building Shacks in the Marikana Land Occupation with the Permission of the Ward Councillor and Municipal Security Guards

 
About twenty men, members of the ANC and the SACP, are building shacks right now in troubled Cato Crest in Ward 101. They are building their shacks in a piece of land that has been left vacant in the Marikana Land Occupation in order to build a community hall.

 
The men who are building shacks on this land said that the local ANC councillor Mzimuni Ngibi has given them permission to build the shacks. This has been confirmed by the security guards who are now placed in the settlement to guard against further land occupation by Abahlali. The security guards came and negotiated with the men and the councillor was then called to confirm that his comrades have the right to build.

 
We would be happy if everyone who is desperate for housing was allowed to build but only the ANC is allowed to build. The Land Invasion Unit and its law enforcement do not apply to ANC but only to people who are non-ANC. The same security guards have demolished several shacks built by Abahlali but today they smile while negotiating with the rulers of this country. Continue reading

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From Assassination with Bullets to Assassination with Words

17 October 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

From Assassination with Bullets to Assassination with Words

On the 6th of October 2014, exactly one week after Thuli Ndlovu was assassinated, The Mercury published an article by Bongani Hans and Sihle Manda that was nothing but an attempt to assassinate the reputation of S’bu Zikode, of our movement and of the many people who are striving for land and housing in Durban independently of our movement.

The article, ‘Shacks pop up in Durban land grab’ by Bongani Hans and Sihle Manda is online here: http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/shacks-pop-up-in-durban-land-grab-1.1760398#.VDfdg2eSxps

It has since been republished by The Post and the South African Housing Federation which also circulated it via email. Continue reading

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Another political eviction in Sisonke Village, near Lamontville

1 October 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Another political eviction in Sisonke Village, near Lamontville

On Sunday 28 September 2014 the ANC Ward 74 councillor Nolubabalo Mthembu called an ANC meeting to discuss ways of replacing the Land Invasion Unit with an ANC demolition team. This meeting took place at the Lamontville Community hall in the afternoon at around 1pm. The Task Team Committee was launched to carry out the illegal eviction of the nearby Sisonke settlement. Sisonke Village, formerly known as Madlala Village, made headlines early this year when they approached the Constitutional Court after they had been subjected to more than 24 illegal evictions. Continue reading

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Thuli Ndlovu was Assassinated last Night

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Thuli Ndlovu, the Abahlali baseMjondolo Chairperson in KwaNdengezi, was Assassinated last Night

Between half past six and seven last night an armed man burst into Thuli Ndlovu’s home in KwaNdengezi while she was watching TV. He shot her seven times and she died on the scene. There were two other people in the house at the time. One was Sphe Madlala, an 18 year old neighbour. He finished matric last year and did very well in physics and maths. Our movement has been trying to help him to get into university. He had come to the house to help Thuli’s 17 year old daughter, Sli, with her matric studies in maths and science. Sphe was also shot twice in the stomach but he survived. He underwent surgery at RK Khan Hospital at one this morning and remains in a critical condition. Thuli’s one year old son, Freedom, was also in the house at the time of the shooting. He was not physically harmed. Sli was in a separate outside room with her grandmother at the time of the shooting.
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Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Re-launches in Sweet Home Farm, East Phillipi

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Re-launches in Sweet Home Farm, East Phillipi

The situation at the Marikana Land Occupation in Durban remains tense after the attack by the local ANC yesterday. Last night black land rovers without number plates were driving around the area. However there have been no further attacks.

Today delegates from Abahlali in KwaZulu-Natal are with our comrades in Cape Town as part of our exchange visit and to witness democracy in action. This is an opportunity to share our struggles in our respective provinces and to learn from one another. The Sweet Home branch, our only active branch in Cape Town, will relaunch today. Continue reading

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The ANC is Attacking the Marikana Land Occupation

26 September 2014

10:29

 

The ANC is Attacking the Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest

 

The Land Invasions Unit has retreated.

The occupation is now under attack by the local ANC. ANC members led by Cllr Mzi Ngiba and his BEC have already demolished around 25 shacks.

An ANC member has attacked Nomvete with a spade. We are waiting for the ambulance to rush her to hospital.

 

K Maphumulo on 079 4648580

Mzamo Majozini on 078 6407999

Abahlali office 031 3046420

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Illegal Evictions About to Happen in Cato Crest

Friday, 26 September 2014

Abahlali press statement

 

The ANC eThekwini has forced the MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works in the province of KZN to illegally evict Abahlali baseCato Crest.

This criminal mandate was made very clear at our meeting with the MEC at the Durban’s City Hall also known as Nigel Gumede Hall. The MEC’s attempt to lecture his comrades about the rule of law and the Constitutional ruling few months ago fell in deaf ears.

Since that meeting the MEC/eThekwini Municipality have hired private security guards too guard the Marikana land occupation. Also izinkabi hit men have been seen around the settlement hunting for Ndabo after he was threatened at the City hall during our meeting with the MEC last week. Strange men who introduced themselves as officials from eThekwini municipality have also been monitoring the settlement for further shack expansion in the morning and evening. Continue reading

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We Are All Ndabo Mzimela

September 26, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

We Are All Ndabo Mzimela

As everybody knows the struggle in Cato Crest against corruption and for land and housing has been seriously repressed. Last year Thembinkosi Qumbela and Nkululeko Gwala were murdered by the izinkabi and Nqobile Nzuza was killed by the police. Others have been shot and beaten. Some have been beaten in the police station. A number of activists, including those who are not members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and are part of other organisations, like the SACP, have had to leave the area. There are regular illegal evictions that are often in violation of court orders and are always in violation of the law. All these actions are carried out with impunity. Continue reading

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Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement on Heritage Day

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement on Heritage Day

Our movement will gather together on this day of 24 September 2014 to celebrate our cultural diversity and histories of struggle. As always we embrace each other’s well-being as creatures who are to enjoy life. We continue to insist that Durban must be a home, safe and free, for everyone that lives in this city whether we are rich or impoverished, women or men and without regard for where we were born and what language we speak.

We will also be using this opportunity to give a report back to our general membership on the progress of our struggle for land, housing and dignity. We will be reporting on all the challenges we have faced this year. Will be reporting on all the meetings we have had with various government officials and other institutions and organizations, the status of the struggle in our branches and of the movement as a whole. And yes, this will be an opportunity to hold the University of Abahlali in Action on political work. Continue reading

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Abahlali baseMjondolo Consultative Meeting with the Ingonyama Trust

Friday, 19 September 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo Consultative Meeting with the Ingonyama Trust

In KwaNdengezi and in eTafuleni people living in traditional homes with land for livestock and gardens are being forced out of their homes and are losing their land as RDP houses are built on their lands. For these people development means being forced out of a big house that they have built themselves into a tiny government house and it means that they are losing their land and the money and the food that they get from their land. New people are being brought into the RDP houses by the councillors and their ward committees. As usual the houses are given to their family members and to members of the ruling party. As usual there is no consultation with the community. The municipality only consults with the councillors and their ward committees. This land has always fallen under the amaKhosi but the Municipality is now claiming that it falls under them. Continue reading

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The eThekwini Municipality Chooses Intimidation Over Negotiation

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

The eThekwini Municipality Chooses Intimidation Over Negotiation

Yesterday Abahlali attended the meeting scheduled with the eThekwini Municipality’s ‘political principles’ as per the invitation of the MEC for Human Settlements in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Ravi Pillay. However there was no possibility for negotiation. Intimidation was the order of the meeting.

Ravi Pillay chaired the meeting. He welcomed all present and made an apology on behalf of the Mayor and his deputy Cllr Nomvuz Shabalala. He also apologised for Nigel Gumede who chairs the Department of Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee in the Municipality and who also did not make it to the meeting. Continue reading

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Meeting with the eThekwini Municipality Today

16 September 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

Abahlali leadership is set to meet with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlement and Public Works led by MEC Ravi Pillay and the eThekwini municipality political principals at 4:00 p.m. today

Our movement engages in many kinds of political action. These range from organising a land occupation or building a crèche to road blockades, mass marches, court action and negotiations with the government.

We first entered negotiations with the eThekwini Municipality in 2007. Those negotiations were long but eventually bore fruit in terms of a Memorandum of Understanding. However after that MOU was signed we were attacked in Kennedy Road and it has not been implemented. The plans to upgrade the Kennedy Road settlement via a participatory process rather than to destroy it are still in place though. Also some of basic services that were agreed to be provided to settlements are now being provided in some areas. Continue reading

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Evictions at the Chris Hani & Marikana Land Occupations

12 September 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Evictions at the Chris Hani (eNsimbini) and Marikana (Cato Crest) Land Occupations

At ten o’clock this morning five shacks were demolished by the Land Invasions Unit in the Chris Hani Land Occupation in eNsimbini. This land was occupied in February last year. The shacks that were demolished are new shacks that were built about two weeks ago by people that were renting nearby and decided to join the occupation to avoid having to pay rent. As usual there was no court order authorising these evictions and they were, therefore, an illegal and criminal act on the part of the eThekwini Municipality. The residents of these new shacks were at work when the eviction happened and so there was no confrontation.

On Wednesday eleven shacks were demolished in the Nqobile section of the Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest. These shacks were built in May. This eviction happened as a result of a complaint by a private businessman located near to the occupation. Continue reading

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Solidarity with Comrades from the Democratic Republic of Congo

21 August 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Solidarity with Comrades from the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Abahlali baseMjondolo General meeting last weekend was attended by eight comrades from the DRC lead by Pastor Raphael. The General Meeting discussed various ways of working in solidarity with the Congolese comrades.

The comrades from the DRC who are here in South Africa made a shocking presentation on the history of the Congo from the year 1887 which led to the genocide that they are now facing. Devastating photos were shown and spoke volumes to the narrated story.

Questions and answers were held followed by a tense conversation about what needs to be done thereafter. All of us were deeply touched and felt helpless. Comrades asked about the role of South African government and its troops in DRC. We asked the role of the African Union and the South African Human Rights Commission and of course the role of civil society and the UN and the US. Some of the answers were that genocides continue in the presence of more than 4 000 South African deployed troops in the DRC. There were also claims that Khulubuse Zuma, who we all know is related to our President Jacob Zuma, has shares in some companies in the DRC. Noted was also the role of neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Ruanda. Also noted is that DRC remains colonized. It is clear that foreign companies and their government are working with governments of neighbouring countries to oppress the Congolese people in the most horrific way to steal the mineral resources of Congo. We must ask serious questions about the role of the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Africa and the US in the DRC. Continue reading

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Solidarity with Abahlali basePizzeria Anarchia in Vienna, Austria

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

 

Solidarity with Abahlali basePizzeria Anarchia in Vienna, Austria

Injustice in Vienna, Austria is an injustice in Durban, South Africa and is an injustice everywhere in the world.

Abahlali friends and comrades in living in Pizzeria Anarchia in Vienna, Austria have been subjected to a violent police attack by at least 1700 riot police, a helicopter, a tank, and a water cannon. The Vienna municipality has evicted at least 11 Abahlali there and 4 are still remained in building. So far 9 of the Abahlali there have been arrested. According to reports in Vienna the City has paid up to 500,000 Euros to evict people from the building which is industrial to advance their gentrification plan. This eviction has become a joke to people of Vienna that one person is evicted by at least 100 cops. This is shocking brutality that we condemn.

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Illegal Evictions in Isipingo, All Criminal Charges Dismissed Against the Ridgeview Twelve

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Illegal Evictions in Isipingo, All Criminal Charges Dismissed Against the Ridgeview Twelve

 

1. Evictions in the Uganda Settlement

Yesterday the notorious eThekwini Municipal Land Invasion Unit evicted seven families in the Uganda settlement near Isipingo in the South of Durban. As always the Municipality had no court order and therefore this was an illegal attack on the residents.

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Bahlali Bayanda! Three Branches Launched on Sunday.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Bahlali Bayanda! Three Branches Launched on Sunday.

On Friday we joined thousands of others in Durban and marched in support of Gaza. We will continue to look for ways to support the struggle in Palestine.

On Sunday we launched three branches. The first two branches to be launched were in eNsimbini in Chesterville and KwaNdengezi in Pinetown. The comrades in eNsimbini have been struggling against evictions. They are being left homeless as their traditional homes are being demolished to make way for RDP houses. In April Baba Cele and Baba David Ngubane were both shot and wounded when they asked to see a court order during an illegal eviction perpetrated by the eThekwini Municipality. This was the twelfth eviction in the area. There have been no demolitions here for the last two months, probably due to strong resistance. The comrades at eNsimbini have named their new branch ‘Chris Hani’. They have requested copies of the Constitution for all members. They are well aware that when residents know this law this knowing does not force the Municipality to obey the law but they feel that it is important that everybody understands clearly that the Municipality is a criminal organisation and that resistance to it is just.

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Tomorrow We March in Solidarity with the Oppressed People of Palestine

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Tomorrow We March in Solidarity with the Oppressed People of Palestine

People in Palestinian are being murdered with impunity. Their homes are being destroyed with impunity. As they are being murdered and as their homes are being destroyed they are being shown to the world as if they are responsible for their own oppression. It is clear that the Palestinians are people who do not count to this world.

In the past we have organised and protested in solidarity with people in Haiti and Turkey. Tomorrow we will join the march in Durban in solidarity with people currently under attack in Palestine. Our solidarity will be to insist that everyone must count equally in this world.

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The Politic of Freedom without Land

17 July 2014

The Politic of Freedom without Land

An address to the 10th Biennial Consultation on Urban Ministry, 15-17 July 2014, Pretoria, on the theme "Un-Shack-led: Faith and the City 20 Years Later"

By S’bu Zikode

I am honoured and humbled to be invited to be here, and to speak at this church. On behalf of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, the movement that has entrusted me with this responsibility to participate in your meeting, I wish to express our gratitude for this invitation.

The churches have rallied to our struggle in difficult times – after shack fires, after arrests, after beatings, after evictions and after shootings. We know about the role that churches have played in Brazil and in Haiti. We believe that the churches can play the same role here in South Africa if they take a clear decision, as some church leaders bravely have already, to be with the people, to clearly take the side of the people, instead of being another stakeholder in another government or civil society meeting. Bishop Rubin Philip has stood strong in the politic of the poor.

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Our Struggle to be counted as Part of the Public Continues

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Our Struggle to be counted as Part of the Public Continues

On the 5 of September 2013 Sibongile Msiya, Nokulunga Magobongo and Bhekani Mzinhle were arrested in Cato Crest. Their homes in the Marikana Land Occupation had just been illegally destroyed by the eThekwini Municipality. The residents responded by organising a road blockade. When the first police officers arrived on the scene the three comrades showed them a court order interdicting the Municipality from carrying out evictions. When the Superintendent, Mganga, arrived the three comrades were arrested on the spot. They were all charged with ‘public violence’. Their real ‘crime’ in the eyes of Mganga was that they were standing up for their rights and showing the police that the Municipality’s actions were illegal and criminal acts against the public.

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The Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village Yesterday

Monday 7 July 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

The Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village Yesterday

Madlala Village is situated in the South of Durban near Lamontville Township.  The settlement was founded by Siza Madlala in 2012. This community was a home to about 389 residents before they were evicted more than twenty five times. The settlement is now home to about 25 families.

Abahlali in Madlala Village, mostly women, had scheduled a meeting with the leadership of Abahlali in order to present ubuhlalism to the community. This is part of the process for a community to join the movement. This was intended to be the second meeting Abahlali meeting in the community since February this year when we joined the community as friends of the court in the Constitutional Court for the case known as Zulu and 389 other vs MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works and another. The first meeting went very well but at the end of the meeting there came a young man who claimed to own the settlement and warned us that in future we will have to get a permit from local ANC structures and the local councillor or the Abahlali cars will be burnt. It was clear that the local community was very angry and did not approve his threats. They told us not to worry. We are used to these kinds of threats, as well as anonymous threats by telephone, and we did not worry.

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Abahlali launches a branch in Silver City (Umlazi)

29 June 2014

Abahlali press statement

 

Abahlali launches a branch in Silver City (Umlazi)

Today Abahlali will be launching a branch in Silver City. This settlement is settlement is situated in Umlazi, South Durban.

Today we are pleased that this community will reclaim its membership and join the big family of Abahlali. It is known that the Silver City is one of the shack settlements that are excluded from all kinds of services for political reasons. We are aware that the community is not getting development because it is taken as the voting pool for the ruling party to keep this ward in the hands of the ruling Party.

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Now Madlala Village is under Attack!

22 June 2014

Emergency Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement 

 

Now Madlala Village is under Attack!

Now Madlala Village in Lamontville is under attack by the same crew that attacked Cato Crest this morning. This is a war on the organised poor who are standing up for their rights.

Kennedy Road residents were attacked in 2009 after their victory in the Constitutional Court. Now residents of Cato Crest and Madlala Village are under attack after their victory.

This attack does not come as a surprise. We celebrate victories in court with caution as we know what comes next.

The contact people on the scene in Madlala Village are

Mr. Mkhize 073 619 5510

MaMkhize Nxumalo 078 433 2719

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The Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest is Under Attack despite the Constitutional Court Ruling

22 June 2014

Emergency Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

The Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest is Under Attack despite the Constitutional Court Ruling

The eThekwini Municipality is currently evicting people at the Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest. Eighteen shacks have already been destroyed. They are evicting without a court order and despite the ruling of the Constitutional Court on 6 June 2014

Thina Khanyile has just been arrested. The comrades in Cato Crest are organising a protest.

Media are encouraged to rush to the scene.

For more information and comment please contact:

 

Mzamo Majozi 078 640 7999

Nadbo Mzimela 079 355 6758

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Abahlali Launch New Branch in Dermet, Shallcross

22 June 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

Abahlali  Launch New Branch in Dermet, Shallcross

The Derment community in Shallcross, Ward 72, was founded in 2009. It is a semi-rural area under Inkosi N. Maphumulo. The eThekwini municipality has claimed to own the land and have been illegally evicting residents. Today the Dermit community is facing mass eviction.

The Dermit community decided to join Abahlali baseMjondolo with the hope that the movement will walk side by side with it to resist these threats. They have completed the process required to join the movement and are now ready to launch the branch. The launch will be held today.

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Illegal Evictions in Madlala Village, Lamontville

20 June 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Illegal Evictions in Madlala Village, Lamontville

Despite the latest Constitutional Court ruling on the 6th of June which is in favour of the poor people of the shack settlement known as Madlala Village in Lamontville, Durban, the illegal demolishing of shacks still continues. This morning at about 09:00 the eThekwini Municipality with its implementing agents was busy demolishing shacks in Madlala village, as a result  70 (seventy) shacks were demolished leaving hundreds of people homeless in the harsh conditions of the winter season.

When the demolishing team arrived in Madlala village the shack dwellers there asked if there was a court order granting the right to the eThekwini Municipality to destroy their homes. One respondent from the demolishing team responded by saying there is none and furthermore he said that they are aware of the recent Constitutional Court ruling but that they were working according to the ward councillor’s instructions to demolish these homes.

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Celebrating the Beauty of Our Youth

15 June 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League Press Statement

 

Celebrating the Beauty of our Youth

HECTOR PETERSON was murdered by the apartheid police on 16 June 1976. He was 13. NQOBILE NZUZA was murdered by the ANC’s police on 30 September 2013. She was 17.

We’ve spent many years in pain and frustration about what happened to HECTOR. We will have to spend many years in pain and frustration about what happened to NQOBILE. We all know that more of us will die in this struggle.

Our youth are serving their life sentences in the shacks or the transit camps. Most of us cannot find work, we cannot study and when we are older we will not be able to get married. We are treated like the rubbish of this society when we should be treated as its promise for the future.

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Abahlali launches a branch in the Foreman Road Settlement

8 June 2014

Abahlali press statement

 

Abahlali launches a branch in the Foreman Road Settlement

We are determined to focus and spend all our energy building a strong movement in shack settlements and in poor communities.

Today Abahlali will be launching a branch in Foreman Road. Foreman Road settlement is one of the biggest settlements in Abahlali situated in Clare Estate, Durban.

We have had members in this settlement since 2005 but for the last three years there has not been a properly constituted branch in this settlement. The community has recently had several mass meetings to discuss the new to relaunch the local branch and to recruit Abahlali membership.

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Concourt slams “unacceptable” evictions

http://www.seri-sa.org/index.php/38-latest-news/253-zulu-concourt-slams

 

Concourt slams “unacceptable” evictions

On 6 June 2014, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in Zulu and 389 Others v eThekwini Municipality and Others (Zulu). SERI represents Abahlali baseMjondolo (Abahlali) who acted as amicus curiae in the case. The case concerned the interpretation of a court order obtained by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works on 28 March 2013 from the Durban High Court. The order permits the Durban municipality to “prevent any persons from invading and/or occupying and/or undertaking the construction of any structures” on specified land within the municipality’s area of jurisdiction and to “remove any materials placed by any persons upon” that land. The order was used to justify the Cato Crest evictions in 2013.

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Kennedy Road shack settlement burns again leaving over 2000 people homeless

5 June 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

Kennedy Road shack settlement burns again leaving over 2000 people homeless

At about 19:15pm last night Kennedy Road shacks were on a huge flame of fire which left at least more than 2000 people without shelter etc. The fire is believed to have been caused by an unattended paraffin stove. It is fortunately that there were no injuries or death reported. Women and children are the most affected by this fire. Many of them lost all their belongings inthis fire including foods, furniture, clothing (including school uniforms), IDs and building material.

We are sad that after years of our struggle this community remains in such difficult and in fact life threatening conditions. In December 2005 former eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba made a public promise to house Kennedy Road residents in Cornubia. Cornubia is a biggest new greenfield housing development in the province. Today the same Cornubia has been given to other people and the list was made at night in other settlements. We were later told that you have to be the volunteer of the ruling party in order to benefit.

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Foreman Road Settlement Renews its Commitment to Abahlalism

Friday, 30 May 2014

Abahlali press statement

 

Foreman Road Settlement Renews its Commitment to Abahlalism

 

Poor people are at most risk of crime in South Africa. We also get the least support from the police. Often it is assumed that all poor people are criminal. Sometimes the police are the biggest threat to us. However when a community is democratically organized it can sometimes be possible to negotiate with some people in the police so that people can get proper protection against violence. It can also be possible for a community to organize itself in such a way that the risk of violence is reduced. When this doesn’t happen people often take matters into their own hands. In most shack settlements people that commit serious violence against other residents, acts like rape and murder, are made to leave to the settlement. This can happen on a fair basis but, especially when there is no democratic process, it can also be very dangerous.

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City-wide Summit on Land, Housing and Dignity

Friday, May 23, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

City-wide Summit on Land, Housing and Dignity

 

The politic of land, housing and dignity remain a huge crisis in our country.

We are seeing a lot of lands every day of our lives but each time we ask for a

land we are told there is no land.

 

Our city mayor calls himself a communist but we ask what kind of a communist

does not believe in an equal distribution of land in the city? We ask what

kind of a communist sends the notorious Land Invasion Unit to destroy the

shacks that we call home and drive us off the land we have occupied? The very

same politicians that tell us that the problem is that land remains in the

hands of the few mostly white farmers send the blue and the red ants to

illegally destroy our homes and drive us off the land we have occupied. These

same politicians are making us landless. If it wasn't for our movement,

thousands of us would have been made homeless, landless and destitute in our

own city, in our own country.

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Trial Date Set for the Ridge View Twelve

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Trial Date Set for the Ridge View Twelve

 

Today members from the Ridge View Abahlali baseMjondolo branch had to return to the Durban Magistrate’s court following the arrest of 12 comrades after the occupation of the Ridge View flats on the 31 December 2014.

It would be remembered that many of them were displaced in 2013 during a mass eviction, at gun point, of more than three hundred families. The twelve who were arrested during the occupation were charged with trespasses, malicious damage to property and contravening a court order. They have since been going in and out courts. Today the matter was adjourned for trial on the 30 and 31 July 2014.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo launches a New Branch in Ekuphumeleleni

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Abahlali base Mjondolo Press Statement

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo launches a New Branch in Ekuphumeleleni

Abahlali branches have to renew their membership annually and thus relaunch in order to ensure that their membership remains active. By launching a branch the community renews its mandate to its local Abahlali leadership and it renews its mandate to Abahlali as a whole. Before the launch takes place the movement leadership would have come to do our political education in which we explain the history and politic of the movement so that communities are clear about our mission and vision. This is also a political education for the movement leadership as we learn about the history and struggles of each community. Today we are launching a new branch in Ekuphumeleleni.

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The ANC Must be removed from Office

06 May 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

The ANC Must be removed from Office

For nine years our movement has boycotted elections. We have been clear that no political party represents the interests of the poor and that it was necessary for us to build our own power in order to present our own needs and demands to society. In these nine years we have won many victories but most of us remain in shacks. Twenty years of shack life is a disgrace in a democracy.

Corruption is also a disgrace. In Durban you get nothing without a membership card for the ANC. All development goes through the councillors and their ward committees and ANC branch executive committees. Development is there to make ANC leaders rich and to control the rest of us by only making it available to ANC members. Development is not for the people. This kind of corruption is a disgrace in a democracy.

But an even bigger disgrace is the repression that we have faced from the ANC, its members, its leaders and its assassins. They have banned our marches; attacked our marches; arrested us on trumped up charges; assaulted us in detention; used armed men to drive us from our homes with police support; used death threats, attacks in our homes and torture in police stations to intimidate people to manufacture evidence against us; detained us for months and months while we wait for a trial that gets thrown out of court because there is no evidence against us; used their anti-land invasion unit to evict us for political reasons and beaten and shot us in our communities. Senior members of the ANC and the Municipality have made public death threats against us. Two activists were assassinated in Cato Crest last year and another, an unarmed teenage girl, was executed by the police.

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UPM: Election 2014: Our Position

Monday, 05 May 2014

Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

 

Election 2014: Our Position

The Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) has endorsed the 'Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No!' campaign. We are calling on our members to refuse to vote for the ANC and vote for any of the small parties, but not the DA, or to spoil their votes if they cannot bring themselves to support any of the small parties.

We have received a number of calls from people wanting to know our stance on the decision by Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) in Durban to offer a tactical vote to the DA in response to the serious repression that they have experienced from the ANC.

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Why Abahlali endorsed the DA: S’bu Zikode speaks to GroundUp

http://groundup.org.za/content/why-abahlali-endorsed-da-sbu-zikode-speaks-groundup

On 2 May 2014 Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) –a social movement of shack dwellers– endorsed the Democratic Alliance (DA) for the 2014 general elections. Abahlali baseMjondolo are better known for their protests against unlawful evictions and their advocacy for public housing and urban land for the poor. Sibusiso Tshabalala of GroundUp spoke to S’bu Zikode, leader of Abahlali baseMjondolo, to find out why they took this decision.

GroundUp (GU): Abahlali’s politics are fundamentally different to that of the DA. Why did you decide to endorse the DA?

S’bu Zikode (SZ): We [ABM members] have suffered under the ANC’s rule. The ANC has consistently demonstrated that it lacks the political will to take the issues of the poor seriously. Being a shack dweller is similar to being imprisoned. The only difference is that a prison sentence can be short-lived, but when you’re poor and have no guarantee of upward mobility, living in a shack can be a life sentence. How long should we, the poor, be confined to this shack sentence?

Here in Durban, many of our comrades continue to be assaulted by the ANC. We fear for our lives and assassination attempts are the order of the day.

As a movement of the urban poor, we think our priority is to vote out the ANC. We do not agree with the DA fundamentally on many core issues. This decision is not one that is based on ideology. Poor people do not eat ideology, nor do they live in houses that are made out of ideology.

So for this decision, we have decided to suspend ideology for a clear goal: weaken the ANC, guarantee the security and protection of the shack dwellers.

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Inkondlo

INKONDLO

 

Isihloko sithi izithembiso ezingafezekanga

Salinda! Salinda!

Ibanga elingaka sinomlando omngaka,

kuthina inkululeko ayifikanga, sikhathele

ilamaqabane azenza inkinga. Sicela inkululeko yethu ukuze

nelokishi lethu liphenduke UMhlanga Rocks.

Oyosikhulula siyomthanda njengo Rick Rocks

Abazi umnotho, kuthina bekungakaveli lutho.

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UnFreedom Day 2014: We Mourn Twenty Years of UnFreedom

26 April 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

We Mourn Twenty Years of UnFreedom

Twenty years of shack life has not been easy for us.

Twenty years of ANC rule with its evictions, its disconnections, its lies and all its greediness and violence has come to mean an abusive relationship with us. Twenty years after apartheid we live like pigs in the mud, our children die of diarrhœa, we are forced into transit camps at gun point, the police beat and shoot us in the streets and the assassins kill us with impunity. If we stand up and demand that our humanity is recognised we are removed from the housing list and placed on the death list.

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Shooting by the eThekwenini Land Invasion Unit at eNsimbini Ward 30

24 April 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo – Urgent press statement

Shooting by the eThekwenini Land Invasion Unit at eNsimbini Ward 30

Abahlali baseMjondolo members are being violently attacked at eNsimbini by eThekwini Land Invasion Unit. Two comrades – Baba Cele at his 40 years of age and Baba David Ngubane at age 36 have just been shot and rushed to hospital. About 30 shacks have been demolished. We all know that the Land Invasion Unit are a new municipal hit squad that targest the poor, innocent and the homeless.

We all know that the eThekwini Municipality are law unto themselves. Today's eviction, just like any eviction in Durban is illegal, they have no court order and no legal right to evict residents without an eviction order. This illegal and violent attack on the people of eNsimbini happens at the same time Abahlali are still waiting for the Constitutional judgement on the matter of eviction in Durban by KZN MEC for Human Settlements.

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An Invitation to all Political Parties except the ANC

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

An Invitation to all Political Parties except the ANC

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo has boycotted every election, local and national, since

2006 as part of the ‘No Land! No House! No Vote!’ campaign. We made it clear

that we were not interested in being used as ladders for any political parties

or any politicians, that we were aware that no political party is prepared to

form a genuine partnership with the poor and that no political party had a

progressive position on shack settlements.  We understood clearly that poverty

is a question of power and that we therefore had to build our own power

through organising ourselves as the strong poor and to be very careful not to

give up our power to any political party or politician (or NGO).

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Marikana Land Occupation Wins Important Victory in Cape Town High Court

13 March 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Marikana Land Occupation Wins Important Victory in Cape Town High Court

Today, there was a landmark ruling for our comrades in the Marikana Land Occupation in Cape Town. It will help us and shack dwellers all over South Africa to stop the municipalities' relentless demolitions of poor people’s homes. These demolitions are unconstitutional, illegal and often violent.

We are living in the most challenging times, where Municipalities misuse their powers, as they have done when demolishing people's homes in Marikana settlement in Cape Town on the 28th of April and 02nd of May 2013. It becomes worrying because when this happens, us poor people have nowhere else to go.

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Road Blockade now on in iSiphingo

7 March 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement

 

Road Blockade now on in iSiphingo

Residents of the iSiphingo transit camps are currently engaged in a road blockade. Transit camps are never acceptable. We are human beings not animals. Recently this camp has been flooded again after the rains. Residents have diseases like TB and asthma due to the living conditions.

In September the MEC promised, in public, that they would be moved to Cornubia. Yet they are still in the transit camp and have heard nothing more about the MEC's promise.

This is a protest at broken promises and it is a protest at living conditions that no human being can accept.

Khanyi 083 874 4853

Mnikelo 081 263 3462

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The poor are punished for demanding our constitutional rights

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2014-03-06-the-poor-are-punished-for-demanding-our-constitutional-rights/

S'bu Zikode, The Daily Maverick

The word 'democracy' has often been misunderstood. It has been misused to legitimise certain projects in a way that is incorrect and misleading. For many shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa, democracy has meant free corruption for members of the ruling party, a life mired in the mud and fire of shacks, illegal evictions and forced removals to transit camps.

For the eThekwini Municipality, democracy means that they are a law unto themselves and can act in total disregard of the rule of law. The poor are automatically viewed as criminals even when we act within the law. For those of us who have organised to defend the dignity of the poor, democracy has come to mean death threats, torture, arrest, violence and assassination.

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Evictions in Madlala Village the Day after they were in the Constitutional Court

13 February 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Evictions in Madlala Village the Day after they were in the Constitutional Court

Yesterday we went to the Constitutional Court to support the Madlala Village community in Lamontville. We were there to oppose an unjust and unlawful eviction order which was granted to the MEC for Human Settlements Ravi Pillay and which the eThekwini Municipality was misusing to claim that it could evict anyone, anywhere despite the protections given to shack dwellers by the Constitution and the PIE Act.

It was very sad for us to hear the lawyers for the MEC telling the court that the order is not to evict residents but to stop new land occupations. The reality is that outside the court they are continuing to evict and are misusing this order to claim that their evictions are lawful.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo Return to the Constitutional Court Tomorrow

Tuesday11 February, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

 

Abahlali baseMjondolo Return to the Constitutional Court Tomorrow

The Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest was founded after an illegal eviction by the eThekwini Municipality. It has been destroyed over and over again by the eThekwini Municipality since March last year. Each time the occupation has been rebuilt. We have been to court and won urgent interdicts against the city preventing them from illegally destroying the occupation. We have marched on the City Hall in our thousands. When we did not receive a reply to our memorandum we organized simultaneous road blockades across the city. Now we are taking this struggle to the Constitutional Court.

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We Reject the Poisonous Politic of Division

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Unyawo Alunampumulo

A person is a person where ever they find themselves.

Our movement has a proud history of taking a clear and strong stand against xenophobia. Our movement has always been open to everyone who lives in the shacks and agrees with our politic. We ask people many questions before they join our movement. But we have never asked someone what country they were born in before welcoming them into our struggle. A neighbour is a neighbour no matter where they were born. A comrade is a comrade no matter where they were born or what language they speak. During the xenophobic attacks in May 2008 we insisted that a person is a person where ever they may find themselves. We insisted that South African belongs to all who lives in it. We took a decision to shelter and defend anyone under attack. We acted on that decision. There were no xenophobic attacks in any settlement affiliated to our movement.

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Marikana Settlement (Cape Town) opposing City’s interdict claiming the right to destroy homes

10 January 2014

Marikana Settlement (Cape Town) opposing City's interdict claiming the right to destroy homes

This morning, the Marikana Settlement in Philippi East will be asking for an urgent interdict from the City of Cape Town from illegally destroying people's homes in the settlement. In response, the City has begun to request their own interdict which at noon today, we will be opposing.

We will be mobilising and protesting outside the Cape High Court this morning. Supporters and media are urged to come to the Cape High Court from 11am onwards to support us.

We've proven before that the City has been destroying occupied homes. See our website here: http://marikanasettlement.net/

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The Land Invasion Unit is Approaching Cato Manor

6 January 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Land Invasion Unit is Approaching Cato Manor

The Land Invasion Unit has gathered at the Westridge Tennis Stadium. This is where they usually meet before attacking Cato Manor. They have now left the stadium and an attack seems imminent.

There is no court order and so these evictions will be illegal. We don't yet know if they are planning to attack the Dunbar occupation (occupied yesterday) or the Marikana occupation (occupied March 2013) or both.

The ANC and the City have failed to destroy the Marikana Occupation. Now the ANC Area Committee is selling sites in the area for between R3 000 to R5 0000 each. They are trying to get back political control and the ability to profit from the land this way.

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New Year’s Eve in Cato Manor: An Occupation, Police Violence, Arrests and Fire

1 January 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

New Year’s Eve in Cato Manor: An Occupation, Police Violence, Arrests and Fire

Just after three this morning the River View Flats in Cato Manor were occupied. Some of the occupiers had previously been evicted from this block of flats and others were from the Marikana Land Occupation, also in Cato Manor.

The security guards stationed at the block of flats tried to prevent the occupation by firing rubber bullets at the occupiers but they were outnumbered and they were not able to stop the occupation. Around fifty people were able to gain occupation of the block flats which was then renamed Amandlethu Village.

The occupation was an act of non-violent civil disobedience against a municipality that is corrupt, criminal and violent, a municipality that, in partnership with the ruling party, brazenly ignores the law and routinely uses violence to try and force its poorest residents to accept their oppression. In this municipality government housing is being used to control the poor, to expel us from the city centre, to force us to accept the control of ruling party and, most of all, to make politicians and their friends rich.

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The SOHCO Owned River View Flats in Cato Manor Have Just Been Occupied

1 January 2014 3:30 a.m.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The SOHCO Owned River View Flats in Cato Manor Have Just Been Occupied

The River View Flats in Cato Manor have just been occupied. The 350 flats in this block are owned by SOHCO, a social housing company, and were standing empty after the residents were all evicted in November. The security guards shot at the occupiers with rubber bullets. The police have arrived. Ten comrades have been arrested and taken to KwaKito (the Cato Manor police station).

Our movement has organised a number of land occupations over the years. This is the first time that we have occupied a block of flats. We have renamed the River View flat occupation as Amandlethu Village.

Among the comrades who have organised the occupation of these flats tonight are those who were evicted from these flats in November 2013 and those who were first evicted from their shacks in Cato Manor in March 2013 and who then opened and occupied a new section of Cato Manor called Marikana. Since then they have been illegally and violently evicted from the new occupation nine times including, most recently, on 23 December 2013. Three comrades have been murdered during this struggle, two others have been shot and many have been arrested and assaulted.

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Illegal Evictions in Cato Crest

Monday, 23 December 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo

Illegal Evictions in Cato Crest

Christmas is often the time of evictions in Durban. The Municipality knows that many people are away at their rural homes and that it is difficult to get legal, media and political support at this time.

Today the municipality is demolishing homes at the Marikana land occupation in Cato Crest. About 40 houses have already been demolished now by the eThekwini Land Invasion Unit. We are still counting as they are still demolishing.

Cato Crest sits with an order from the Durban High Court which protects the residents from the illegal demolishing of their homes. Yet the municipality does not respect the order and demolishes in open violation of the law and the court order. This is the 8th time this year that the municipality has acted in open contempt of the court by demolishing homes at this settlement.

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Today We Protest in Cato Crest in Honour of Nelson Mandela

Monday, 09 December 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 

Protest Today in Cato Crest in Honour of the Father of the Nation uTata uNelson Mandela

 

“If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.”

–           Nelson Mandela, Cosatu Conference, 1993

 

Today Abahlali will hold a protest in Cato Crest in honour of the late Tata Nelson Mandela.

On Saturday Abahlali baseMjondolo had a meeting to discuss the meaning of Nelson Mandela for our country and our struggle and to discuss how we can honour him.

In Johannesburg Nelson Mandela gave legal support to the Sofasonke movement, a shack dwellers' movement. He supported them to defend their land occupations. In Durban the movement that he helped to radicalise supported the struggle against evictions in Umkhumbane, which is also known as Cato Manor. Cato Crest is part of Cato Manor. Today we are evicted in Cato Crest. Today we are beaten, arrested, shot and murdered in Cato Crest. Today we do not count to the law in Cato Crest.

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March in Clare Estate, Monday 18 November 2013

17 November 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo to March in Clare Estate on Monday 18 November 2013

We will be marching on Councillor Bhekisane Ngcobo on Monday 18 November 2013. The march will leave the Foreman Road shack settlement at 9:00 a.m. and will finish at Ngcobo’s office in Asherville at 13:00.

The message of the day is that: FOREMAN RD DEMANDS LAND, HOUSING & DIGNITY IN OUR LIFE TIME.

This is the first time that the ratepayers’ associations are supporting an Abahlali baseMjondolo march. We have had a number of meetings with the Clare Estate Ratepayer’s Association. The politicians are always using the ratepayers as an excuse to force the poor out of the city. They blame their programme of reruralisation on the ratepayers. However we and the ratepayers have agreed on a common programme. We have agreed that we want to build a Clare Estate for all, a Clare Estate where everyone has a decent house, decent services, good schools, where development is democratically decided and everyone feels at home and can enjoy living in the area in safety. The march is organised by Abahlali baseMjondolo and supported by ratepayers and civic organisations of ward 25; viz. Clare Estate; Asherville; Springtown & Puntans Hill. It is also supported by the local taxi association and other local businesses.

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Despite the state’s violence, our fight to escape the mud and fire of South Africa’s slums will continue

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/11/south-africa-fight-decent-housing-assassination

by S'bu, Zikode, The Guardian

Our movement of shack-dwellers – Abahlali baseMjondolo, representing some of South Africa's poorest people – was formed in 2005 in Durban and now has more than 12,000 members in more than 60 shack settlements. We campaign against evictions, and for public housing: struggling for a world in which human dignity comes before private profit, and land, cities, wealth and power are shared fairly.

When Abahlali baseMjondolo members take our place in cities we take it humbly, but firmly. We have won many important battles in court, including the overturning of the anti-poor Slums Act – but the law has not bought justice. Despite that victory, thousands of shack dwellers were forcibly removed to make way for developments ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Most were dumped in transit camps, left to rot without basic services. Some camps – such as Isipingo, south of Durban – were built on flood plains.

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Phantsi ngokucinizelwa kwabantu ngamapolisa

http://activateonline.co.za/phantsi-ngokucinizelwa-kwabantu-ngamapolisa/

Phantsi ngokucinizelwa kwabantu ngamapolisa

Umbutho wabantu abangaphangeliyo (UPM), Abahlali Basemjondolo (AbM) bekunye nabasebenzi nabafundi beDyunivesithi iRhodes bebebambe umngcelele osingisele kwisitishi samapolisa aseRhini ngenjikalanga yangoLwesithathu. Bebesiya kudlulisa ileta yesimemezelo sokuba kupheliswe ukubulawa kabuhlungu kwabantu ngamapolisa xa belwela amalungelo abo.

Oku kulandela emveni kokuba amaqabane amathathu ethe abulawa ngamapolisa eCato Crest, Ethekwini ebutsheni balo nyaka. Le mibutho ikwa vakalise ukubulawa kuka-Andries Tatane nendyikitya yaseMarikana njengezinye zezizathu eziphembelele le matshi.

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The Housing List versus the Death List

The Housing List versus the Death List

We are supposed to be living in a democratic country, a country of justice, a country where everyone should be treated as one. Yet there is a huge inequality. That inequality is economic, it is spatial and it is political. We remain divided into rich and poor. We continue to be allocated to different kinds of places that are meant for different kinds of people with different kinds of opportunities, different kinds of lives and different kinds of rights. We continue to be divided into those that have the freedom to express themselves and those that face all kinds of intimidation and repression if we commit the crime of telling the truths about our lives.

For the poor this country is a democratic prison. We are allowed to vote for our prison warders and managers but we must always remain in the prison. We must remain in silence when our shack settlements are illegally destroyed leaving us homeless. We must remain in silence when we are forcibly removed to transit camps that are only fit for animals but not for people. We must remain in silence when we are told to return to Lusikisiki or taken to human dumping grounds far outside the cities. We must remain in silence when we are threatened, beaten, shot and killed. The politicians think that when we refuse to be silent, and when we resist repression, they can silence us by throwing some meat at us. After all these years they think that we are dogs. We are not dogs. We are people. We will continue to rebel until we are treated as human beings.

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Picture the Homeless: Jean Rice’s Speech from Riverside Church “Dear Mandela” Screening & Panel Discussion

http://picturethehomeless.org/blog/node/418

Jean Rice's Speech from Riverside Church "Dear Mandela" Screening & Panel Discussion

I am here today, because since the historic transition to a participatory democracy based upon the concept of one person one vote which was declared in South Africa in 1994, my Abhalali brothers and sisters are still being treated as second class citizens and in far too many cases being hunted as if they were targets of a "Fugitive Slave Act."

I am here today to reiterate my brother S'bu Zikode's explanation of the Shackdwellers' "Living Politic", as he explained this credo at the university of Chicago on November 8, 2010: "Our living politic begins with the fact that all  of us were created in the image of God and are therefore equal. Our living politic starts by recognizing the full and equal humanity of every human being. We struggle as human beings with equal worth and intelligence to all other human beings against a system that produces inequality by denying every day the humanity of some of us."

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Road Blockade in Isipingo Yesterday

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Road Blockade in Isipingo Yesterday

The Isipingo transit camp was badly flooded during the recent rains. It is built in a dangerous area and there is no drainage. It is not fit for human habitation.

Yesterday a road blockade was organised in protest at:

–       The flood and the inhuman conditions in the transit camp

–       The failure to honour to the promise, made more than a week ago, to start moving people out of the transit camp within a week

–       The attempt to silence us with lies on one hand and repression on the other hand

One person was arrested on the blockade but she was later released without being charged.

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Today We Return to Court in Solidarity with Four of Our Comrades Arrested in Cato Crest

28 October 2013 Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Today We Return to Court in Solidarity with Four of our Comrades Arrested in Cato Crest

Today we return to the Durban Magistrate’s Court in solidarity with four of our comrades arrested in Cato Crest during the current wave of repression. The four comrades appearing in court today are Bandile Mdlalose and, in a separate case, Nokulanga Magobongo, Sibongile and Mr. Mzihle.

Bandile Mdlalose was arrested on the 30th of September 2013 during a spontaneous demonstration against the murder of Nqobile Nzuza, 17, who was shot in the back of the head by the police. Bandile’s only real ‘crime’ was to refuse to be intimidated and to be in silence in the face of police murder and intimidation. She was detained in Westville Prison for a week and then released on a very high bail (R 5000) and with onerous conditions including a ban on her entering Cato Crest. This is an outrageous violation of her basic political rights.

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uMlazi Update

Friday, 11 October 2013

Abahlali baseMjoindolo Press Statement

uMlazi Update

Our movement is growing in uMlazi. We are very strong in the eMhlabeni land occupation and the Silva City transit camp. On Friday last week three comrades were arrested on an uMlazi road blockade organised to demand (1) the release of Bandile Mdlalose and (2) that the City stops its repression and start negotiations with us on our demands given to them at the march on 16 September 2013. We are demanding democracy, not just voting but real democracy, everyday democracy, and an end to repression.

These three comrades were kept in the holding cells till Monday. On Monday morning some comrades went to the Durban Magistrates’ Court and others went to the court in uMlazi to support comrades in detention. Before the court was in session our members were singing outside as is their right. The police came, threatened them, and said that if they were not be quiet they would know who to start with when the shooting started. They said that they would shoot two people. After this the people stopped singing. We have signed statements on the threat from the police to shoot two people.

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I will not be silenced

http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/opinion/i-will-not-be-silenced-1.1589748#.UtjXWtK1ZA8

October 10 2013 at 09:00am

By BANDILE MDLALOSE

On June 3, 2010 when I became the general secretary of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, I vowed to die where Abahlali members died, writes Bandile Mdlalose

I vowed to protect my country. I vowed to be loyal to the poorest of the poor. I vowed to uphold the constitution of South Africa in a sign of respect for all those who fought for this country.

I vowed to take forward the struggle for land and housing in the cities, to make sure that land, cities, wealth and power are shared.

Upon my vows I stand firm, committed to implementing them.

No judgment, imprisonment or bullet will silence me while we, the poor, are being oppressed by those whose daily bread is the poverty and blood of the poor.

I refuse to be silenced by any judgement by those who never gave themselves enough time to understand how it is to live in poverty.

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Seven Days of Thoughts in Westville Prison

This article has been published in the Daily News.

Seven Days of Thoughts in Westville Prison

On June 3, 2010 when I became the General Secretary of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A. I vowed to die where Abahlali members die. I vowed to protect my country. I vowed to be loyal to the poorest of the poor. I vowed to uplift the Constitution of South Africa in respect for all those who fought for this country. I vowed to take forward the struggle for land and housing in thecities, to make sure that land, cities, wealth and power are shared.

As upon my vows I stand firm to implement them. No judgement, imprisonment or bullet will silence me while we, the poor, are being oppressed by those whose daily bread is the poverty and blood of the poor. I REFUSE to be silenced by any judgement of those who never gave themselves enough time to understand how it is to live in poverty. I REFUSE. I refuse to allow the silence to take control. The price of silence keeps me going because the price of silence is oppression, suffering, wasted lives and death. The price of rebellion is less than the price of silence.

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Today Even More of us are S’bu Zikode

7 October 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Today Even More of us are S’bu Zikode

Our movement has faced serious repression since it was formed in 2005. Our protests have been banned, they have been attacked by the police, we have been arrested on trumped up charges, beaten in the police stations, driven form our homes, tortured and murdered.

We have always made it clear that we want to negotiate with the government, that we want to bring the people to the government and the government to the people. But it is clear that the politicians prefer a politic of violence to a politic of negotiation.

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Statement in Defense of the Abahlali BaseMjondolo members

To:

James Nxumalo, Mayor, eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa

Senzo Mchunu, Premier, KwaZulu-Natal

Jacob Zuma, President, Republic of South Africa

Since 2005, the ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO (Shack Dwellers) movement has mobilized to fulfill the needs of a large number of inhabitants in the city of Durban who live without access to land, housing, food, education and basic services such as clean water, sanitation, electricity and health care.

In response to this mobilization, the South African Police Service, the Ethekwini Municipality and the ruling political party (ANC) have attempted to criminalize the actions of this movement.

In particular, we have observed:

                        The continued intimidation, beatings and unlawful detention of activists.

                        The torture of individuals held in detention.

                        The demolition and bulldozing of thousands of homes.

                        The use of the press to slander the movement and its various leaders.

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Statement of Solidarity from Bishop Rubin Phillip & the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders’ Group

Destroying our lives – in Cato Crest

Today, we found ourselves where we have been too often before – at the Durban court awaiting a decision on bail for another shack dweller charged with public violence.  Again – bail denied; on what grounds it is not clear.

Why another bail hearing? What has led to us as clergy being here again this day?

Over the past few months and weeks we have heard:

·         of illegal evictions and demolition of homes in Cato Crest by the Land Invasion Unit;

·         of alleged fraudulent selling and allocation of houses in Cato Crest by local political leadership;

·         of several court interdicts secured by Abahlali protecting their homes, and the same interdicts despised and ignored by city officials and political leadership;

·         of intimidation by local ANC leadership and members in Cato Crest, of the legal teams that were attempting to give effect to the court's orders of restraining the city from demolishing people’s houses, and restraining them from further evictions, and instructing the city to rebuild people’s houses that were demolished;

·         of the shooting by the Land Invasion Unit and the SAPS of protesters asserting their rights – shot with rubber bullets and live ammunition.  We visited today Nkosinathi Mngomezulu and Luleka Makhwenkwana who are still in hospital recovering from their wounds.

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Statement from this morning’s road blockade in Siyanda

Update 20:34: Police bail was refused. A pro bono lawyer was secured but the prosector on standby had her phone switched off and so a bail hearing was made impossible. The three comrades will have to spend the weekend in the holding cells.

Update 10:10: The three comrades arrested today are are Themba Msomi, Thembeka Sondaba & Fikiswa Mgoduka.

Yesterday there was a blockade in Clare Estate. This morning there are blockades in iSiyanda and uMlazi. Three comrades, including the chairperson are under arrest in uMlazi. She still has her phone with her and she is strong. A police car turned over in uMlazi. This was because the driver failed to control it. We did not attack it. However we were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets – the same bullets that killed Andries Tatane – in both iSiyanda and uMlazi.

uTata Nelson Mandela said that if the ANC does to us what apartheid did to us then we must do to the ANC what we did to apartheid. We are living in apartheid under black management. Therefore we are back to the streets. In these actions we are honouring Madiba.

The demands that are being issued on these blockades are clear. The first one is the same demand as the one issued in Cato Crest on Monday, in Clare Estate yesterday and in Clare Estate, iSiphingo and Cato Crest last week. That demand is that we want a full and proper response to the memoranda that we handed over to the Municipality on our march on 16 September. We have a new demand too now: Free Bandile Mdlalose!

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M&G: Open letter to James Nxumalo, Senzo Mchunu & Jacob Zuma

2 October 2013

To:

James Nxumalo, Mayor, eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa

Senzo Mchunu, Premier, KwaZulu-Natal

Jacob Zuma, President, Republic of South Africa

We are writing to you to express our grave concern at events unfolding in the Cato Crest shack settlement in Durban.

After an illegal eviction in Cato Crest by the eThekwini Municipality in March this year, shackdwellers occupied an adjacent piece of land. They named the settlement “Marikana”. Since then, two activists have been assassinated -Thembinkosi Qumbelo and Nkululeko Gwala. A third, Nkosinathi Mngomezulu, is in critical condition after being shot by the Land Invasions Unit. A number of activists have been seriously beaten by the police. Other activists, including Bandile Mdlalose and S’bu Zikode of the shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo who have been supporting the residents, have been threatened with death.

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Marikana Continues: Statement on the murder of Nqobile Nzuza

Thursday, 03 October 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Marikana Continues: Statement on the murder of Nqobile Nzuza

Two young women were shot in the back  in Cato Crest on Monday. They were both shot in the back while running away from the police. Nqobile Nzuza was shot in her back and in the back of her head and died on the scene. Luleka Makhwenkwana was shot in her arm, also from the back, and was taken to hospital but has now been discharged. Police spokespeople Jay Naicker and Solomon Makgale have been telling the media all kinds of lies about these shootings.

We wish to make it clear that the police are lying just as they lied after the massacre on the mountain in Marikana last year.

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Bandile Mdlalose has been denied bail

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
1 0ctober 2013

Bandile Mdlalose has been denied bail

We went to court today to bring Bandile home. We had to leave without her. She was denied bail.

Thembinkosi Qumbelo is dead. Nkululeko Gwala is dead. Nqobile Nzuza is dead. Nkosinathi Mngomezulu is in hospital. Luleka Makhwenkwana is in hospital.

Our members have been beaten during evictions, during protests and in the police stations.

Our homes have been destroyed again and again even though this is against the law, the constitution and all the court orders that we won.

And yet they say that Bandile is suspected of 'public violence' and is too dangerous to society to be allowed out of jail.

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Nqobile Nzuza, a 17 Year Old School Girl, Shot Dead with Live Ammunition by the Cato Manor SAPS

30 September 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Nqobile Nzuza, a 17 Year Old School Girl, Shot Dead with Live Ammunition by the Cato Manor SAPS

Nqobile Nzuza a 17 year old girl, a grade 9 learner at Bonella High School and an Abahlali baseMjondolo supporter was gunned down at around 5:00 a.m. this morning. Nqobile was shot twice from behind with live ammunition. Luleka Makhwenkwana was also shot in her arm with live ammunition and she is in King Edward Hospital. Thulisile Zide fainted and went unconscious, she is also in hospital. 

This is shoot to kill policing. This is the crackdown that the police and politicians promised on protests. This is policing that is willing to murder to suppress the struggle for real justice and real freedom. This is policing that is used to oppress the people in the interests of the ruling party and the tenderpreurs and gangsters that have seized control of it in Durban.

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The Con: Broken Heart(h)s and Lives

http://www.theconmag.co.za/2013/09/29/broken-hearths-and-lives/

Sindy Mkhize on the September 2009 attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in the Kennedy Road settlement.

My family still carry the attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in the Kennedy Road shacks on September 26 2009 in our broken hearts. I never thought it would take this long to put our lives together. It is difficult to live in such an unstable situation. It feels like being in prison, a prison where the walls are made of fear and worry.

We lost everything we owned during the attack. We have had to move from one place to another for security reasons. We have had to move from one place to another for rent reasons. We are still living a miserable life, paying inflated rent. There are still death threats against my husband. We still don’t feel secure. It burns our hearts that our children have had to grow up like this. It is not just us. None of the people who were displaced from Kennedy are stable.

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Road Blockades Around the City

Update 27 September 2013, 12:42: They are feeling the pressure. The provincial MEC wants to open negotiations this afternoon.

Update 27 September 2013, 8:47: There are road blockades again this morning. There are more than 500 people on the Isipingo blockade. The Kennedy blockade is strong too. One arrest so far.

Update 26 September 2013: The three Cato Crest comrades have been released. The charges were withdrawn because the police had no case against them. The person arrested at Kennedy Road has also been released. She was beaten by the police.

26 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Road Blockades Around the City

On the 16th of September 2013 we marched on the Durban City Hall in our thousands with the hope that this is the Republic of South Africa and thus we shall be taken seriously. We delivered memoranda demanding well located land and decent housing and the restoration of our dignity to the Provincial Dept of Human Settlement, Cooparative Governence and Traditional Afairs and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo. We made it clear that we expected a response within seven days.

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Statement of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa on Illegal Evictions in Cato Crest

GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR OF SOUTH AFRICA

PRESS STATEMENT

The General Council of the Bar notes with concern the recent evictions of over 100 informal settlers at Cato Crest in Durban. Over the past two weeks, the residents of the settlement have been evicted and left homeless three times by the Durban Municipality's land invasion unit.


The residents have urgently approached the High Court on no less than five occasions, claiming that their eviction was unlawful. They have obtained three interim court interdicts, restraining the Durban Municipality from evicting them again without a court order, and have subsequently rebuilt their homes. However, on each occasion the Municipality's land invasion unit has returned to the settlement and destroyed the residents' homes once again.

The GCB notes reports that the residents were driven to occupy land at Cato Crest earlier this year after they were excluded from a project intended to provide housing to them and others in a nearby informal settlement.


The GCB emphasises that Section 26 of the Constitution entrenches the right of access to adequate housing and the right of protection from arbitrary eviction. It is a matter of grave concern that, despite their repeated attempts to follow due process of law in enforcing their constitutional rights, the residents, including many women and children, have been left homeless and destitute.


I A M SEMENYA SC


CHAIRMAN

23 September 2013

Statement of the General Council of the Bar on Cato Crest

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Three Abahlali baseMjondolo Members Shot in Cato Crest

Update: 9:27 p.m. After the meeting at Cato Crest the comrades went to the hospital. Mngomezulu is fighting for his life in the ICU.

Update: 12:57 p.m. Abahlali baseMjondolo marched on the Cato Crest police station to demand the release of the arrested comrades. They have secured their release.

21 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Emergency statement

eThekwini Municipality’s Invasion Unit has shot three Abahlali baseCato Crest, one with live ammunition

Abahlali has witnessed the leader of the Land Invasion Unit Mr Goven, shooting at our members in Cato Crest. We witnessed him shooting at Mngomezulu. Goven was in his white shirt while the rest of his crew was wearing blue. Three live bullets were fired at Mngomezulu.

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ANC Thuggery Undermines the Rule of Law Once Again

17 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

ANC Thuggery Undermines the Rule of Law Once Again

Yesterday we occupied the centre of Durban in our thousands. After our march some of us went to court, once again, for the Cato Crest matter. We have won a number of orders from the High Court interdicting the eThekwini Municipality from illegally evicting our members from the Marikana land occupation at Cato Crest. However the Municipality has just ignored these court orders. The court eventually decided to order various officials to appear before the court to explain why they should not be arrested. But even the agreement made to stop the evictions, which have been violent, while the Municipality prepared its case, was violated. While we were in court threats were made against us and guns were openly passed around outside the court. Two activists have already been assassinated in Cato Crests and death threats have to be taken seriously.

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ANC members are threatening AbM leaders in Cato Crest now

Update: It was impossible to carry out the process as stipulated by the court order due to intimidation and threats from ANC supporters including open and public death threats. The rule of law is being undermined at every turn. Our lawyers and leaders have now left the area.

17 September 2013 9:11 a.m.
Abahlali baseMjondolo Emergency Press Statement

ANC members are threatening AbM leaders in Cato Crest now

AbM leaders are at Cato Crest with lawyers from both AbM and the City, as per the last court order, to count and mark the shacks that are protected by the court orders.

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Demolitions Happening Right Now in Cato Crest

Update – 2:07 a.m. Even the building materials were destroyed. AbM is now meeting at the occupation. All branches will support the occupation and the movement has affirmed its commitment to do everything possible to fight back.

Update – 9:29 a.m. These evictions are being carried out at gun point and with violence.

14 September 2013 – 9:117 a.m.
Abahlali baseMjondolo Emergency Press Statement

Demolitions Happening Right Now in Cato Crest

 

 





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March on the Durban City Hall to Demand Land, Housing and Dignity

13 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

March on the Durban City Hall to Demand Land, Housing and Dignity

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA together with Abahlali baseSipingo Transit Camp (eMathinini) will be marching to the Durban City Hall on Monday, 16 September 2013. We will be joined by Abahlali from around the province of KwaZulu-Natal including Howick and the South Coast. For a very long time there has been serious neglect of people in smaller towns.

This march comes at a very tough time for our movement. It comes at a time when we are not only beaten and repressed for raising our voices but also threatened with death and killed. Our crime has been to organize in shack settlements and to organize unorganized communities. Our crime has been to organize outside state control. Our crime has been to organize outside party control. Our crime has been to create a platform for people who are supposed to be spoken for and about to speak for ourselves. Our crime has been to speak truth to power. Our crime has been to speak out against the corruption that implicates top politicians in Cato Crest. Our crime has been to insist that everyone counts. Our crime has been to insist on our right to the cities. Our crime has been to take action to put the social value of land before its commercial value. And yes, our crime has been to insist that the state does not treat the poor as if we were beneath the rule of law and outside of our constitutional democracy.

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Another Victory in the Durban High Court for Abahlali baseCato Crest

12 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

Another Victory in the Durban High Court for Abahlali baseCato Crest

 




 

Abahlali baseCato Crest outside the Durban High Court, 12 September 2013

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA have again won another Court Interdict prohibiting the eThekwini Municipal Land Invasion Unit and the Metro Police from demolishing the homes of Abahlali baseCato Crest. The court ordered Municipal officials and the Municipal Legal team to go to Cato Crest to indentify residents with their shacks and mark them. This is to make sure that Abahlali are no longer touched by the Municipality pending the finalization of our application. The visit will take place on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 at 9 a.m. This is a relief arrangement while proceedings are under way. The City only filed their answering affidavit today and our legal team will need to respond to it before the court can hear it, together with the main application.

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Cato Crest Currently Under Illegal and Violent Attack by the eThekwini Municipality

11 September 2013 – 10:05 a.m.
Abahlali baseMjondolo – Emergency Press Statement

Cato Crest Currently Under Illegal and Violent Attack by the eThekwini Municipality

The Municipality is Attacking Cato Crest Right Now. Homes are Being Demolished. Media are requested to rush to the scene to witnesses the criminality and inhumanity of this Municipality for themselves.

Ndabo Mzimela: AbM-Cato Crest Chairperson 072 401 5974
Lindiwe: AbM- Cato Crest Activist 072 749 3693
Bandile Mdlalose: AbM- General Secretary 084 557 5090

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Press Conference in Cato Crest on the Crisis in Cato Crest

10 September 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement

NKULULEKO GWALA PRESS CONFERENCE

We are all Nkululeko Gwala and we want to cough it all out.

It is high time that the truth be told. The world, the country, the Cato Crest community, friends and family of Nkululeko Gwala are all wondering what has led to Nkululeko‘s assassination. It is time the world should know the truth.

Corruption, violent and illegal evictions, contempt of court orders, police violence and death threats from local party structures have become the order of the day in Cato Crest yet no one talks about it. The truth is known and yet no one speaks out. It is time that Abahlali baseCato Crest spoke.

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Court Order Compelling Senior Municipal and Police Officials to Explain Why They Must not Either Obey the Law or Go to Jail

6 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Court Order Compelling Senior Municipal and Police Officials to Explain Why They Must not Either Obey the Law or Go to Jail

We have won an order in the High Court that requires the head of the Land Invasions Unit, the Municipal Manager and the Station Commander of the Cato Manor Police Station to show on 12 September if there is any good reason why they should not either be committed to prison for 30 days or comply with the court order issued against them on 2 September. That order prohibits them from evicting people in Cato Crest and forces them to rebuild the shacks that they have demolished.

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The three comrades arrested for public violence were bailed out last night

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement
06 September 2013

The three comrades arrested for public violence were bailed out last night

Yesterday three Abahlali baseMjondolo members were arrested after Bellair Road was blockaded in protest at more illegal and violent evictions in Cato Crest. These evictions violated the law, the Constitution and an order of the court. The three comrades who were arrested are Sibongile, Nokulunga and Mr Mzinhle.

After the arrests the leadership of Cato Crest branch, together with the Abahlali baseMjondolo leadership, went to the Cato Manor Police Station to negotiate bail for our comrades. We were glad to have secured police bail for them without any objection from the police. 

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We Are Under Attack in Cato Crest!

Update: 7:28 p.m. The movement has secured the release of the arrested comrades from Ngiba's police station on R500 bail each. They were assaulted in police custody by Officer Phahla.

Update: 1:46 p.m. Six comrades have been arrested on the road blockade. Around 40 shacks were demolished (Update: The police have held three comrades at the station)

5 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Pres statement

We Are Under Attack in Cato Crest!

eThekwini Municipality violates Court Order

Despite both an undertaking and an Order of Court issued by Durban High Court

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We Have Secured Another Court Interdict in Defence of Cato Crest

02 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

We Have Secured Another Court Interdict in Defence of Cato Crest

Abahlali baseMjondolo has just secured another interdict in the Durban High Court against the eThekwini Municipality.

At around 13:00 p.m. today around 80 municipal police officers and members of the Land Invasions Unit arrived in Cato Crest, Ward 101, escorted by the local Councillor, Mzimuni Ngiba and his BEC (Branch Executive Committee of the ANC). They attacked our comrades and demolished their shacks leaving them homeless. They demolished the shacks even though there is a court order preventing them from demolishing the shacks.

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Our Movement is Under Attack

Monday, 2 September 2013
Abahlali baseCato Crest Press Statement

Our Movement is Under Attack

The eThekwini Municipality's Land Invasion Unit has again demolished shacks and evicted residents in Cato Crest without a Court Order. This is despite the undertaking made before the Durban High Court that they will not demolish any shacks in Cato Crest pending the final court decision. They demolished on Sunday and again this today. This morning they demolished 15 shacks, 8 of them were the homes of people who where among those who secured an interim court order preventing the destruction of their homes. The few bullies running this municipality are rendering it a criminal municipality with no respect for the poor, for democracy or the rule the law.

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eThekwini Municipality Goes Rogue, Illegally Evicts Residents

PRESS RELEASE
Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)
2 September 2013

ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY GOES ROGUE, ILLEGALLY EVICTS RESIDENTS

eThekwini demolishing shacks at Cato Crest despite undertaking to High Court

Yesterday and today the eThekwini Municipality has been evicting residents of Cato Crest informal settlement in violation of an undertaking it made to the Durban High Court last month.

Three weeks ago the municipality began demolishing the homes of shackdwellers at Cato Crest settlement without a court order, rendering a number of residents homeless. These residents have been left out of a housing development in the area ostensibly because they are tenants and “come from the Eastern Cape.” They are also, seemingly, being left out of legal protections against evictions. The Cato Crest residents were being assisted by Abahlali baseMjondolo member and Cato Crest housing activist Nkululeko Gwala until his death in an apparent assassination in June 2013. Gwala was exposing corruption in housing allocation at the Cato Manor housing development.

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Illegal Evictions Happening Right Now in Cato Crest!

Sunday 1 September 2013, 13:36
Abahlali baseCato Crest Emergency Press Statement

The eThekwini Municipality is Currently Evicting People in Cato Crest in Violation of the Law and a Court Order

On 23 August 2013 we secured an interim interdict against the eThekwnini Municipality from continuing with their illegal evictions in Cato Crest.

However the Municipality has returned to Cato Crest today and is currently demolishing our homes and leaving us homeless. These evictions are illegal, in violation of a court order and a violent attack on our humanity and our right to live in the this city.

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Durban High Court Grants Cato Crest Residents an Interim Order Interdicting the eThekwini Municipality against Evictions

23 August 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement

Durban High Court grants Cato Crest residents an interim order interdicting the eThekwini Municipality from Demolishing and Evicting them from their homes

On Tuesday 13 August 2013 the eThekwini Municipality demolished homes of shack dwellers in the Cato Crest land occupation. As usual these demolitions were not authorised by an order of the court. This is not just immoral. It is also illegal. The people who were left homeless after these evictions were iisolated from the current housing development in the area because the majority of them come from the Eastern Cape and have been labelled as tenants. This was also confirmed at the beginning of the year when Cato Crest residents were protesting and demanding houses. Nigel Gumede said that these are unknown people. He said that most of them come from the Eastern Cape and also called them as tenants. This is a very dangerous politic that is trying to weaken the poor by dividing us.

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Is Nkululeko Alive, Dead or Risen from His Grave?

IS NKULULEKO ALIVE, DEAD OR RISEN FROM HIS GRAVE?

by Bandile Mdlalose

It has been almost three months since Nkululeko Gwala, a leader and activist of Cato Crest, was assassinated for speaking the truth.

Nkululeko was labeled, named and framed for being a bad leader and leading the protest which led to the burning down of the councilor’s office which took place on Tuesday 25 July 2013 at night. Of course this accusation was not true. But the politicians always think that they have got the answers to everything. Their role is to label activists who speak the truth, and to destroy their reputation. They always protect the system of oppression that makes some of us poor and others rich. Continue reading

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Housing corruption, eviction and demolition in Cato Crest right now

Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Abahlali baseCato Crest press statement

Housing corruption, eviction and demolition in Cato Crest right now

After Nkululeko Gwala was murdered for speaking against corruption and for calling for a fair and transparent allocation of housing in Cato Crest, activists in the area have continued to receive death threats.

Yesterday a local ANC member who is also in an ANC local committee was illegally allocated a house. Like so many others he was rewarded for being loyal to the party. Abahlali noted this and started questioning the rightfulness of this ANC member to get a house. As always our members were threatened and special party meeting was held to discuss how the ruling party should deal with out movement. Residents were in fear the whole night as the intimidation of those who speak out continues.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo to March on Mayor de Lille on Wednesday

Monday, August 12, 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Sweet Home Farm Branch Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo to March on Mayor de Lille on Wednesday

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape is tired of the waiting system from the government. The Western Cape has turned to be a spaza shop, where the DA comes and shop for votes while we are left with empty promises.

The leading party in the Province does not have any humanity. Its only delivery is to demolish our homes, leaving us homeless in the rain. When they comes to shop for their votes they act like we are people who count, and they know that we are in ward areas. After the voting is finished we are called unknown people and we treated like people that don't count to this city.

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Women are human beings even when they find themselves in shacks or transit camps

Friday, 9 August 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Womens' League Press Statement

 

Women are human beings even when they find themselves in shacks or transit camps

Today women of the shack settlements just like women of Sandton, Sea Point and Umhlanga Rocks will be commemorating Women’s Day. We are human beings and we are women where ever we find ourselves. We are still women in the shacks and we are still women in the transit camps and in the streets. We believe it is shack women’s responsibility to bring about change in their own lives, in our communities and in our society as a whole. Continue reading

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Legal Aid refuses to stand for Abahlali baseWyebank in Court

Legal Aid refuses to stand for Abahlali baseWyebank in Court

By Sthembiso Shozi

On the 8th of August the community of Wyebank shack dwellers will go against the eThekwini municipality in the Durban High court with no legal representation concerning an eviction case.

Abahlali baseWyebank who have lived in the area for more than 15 years received an eviction order on the 3rd of July from the court, lodged by the eThekwini municipality.

According to the Municipality the Wyebank shack inhabitants are occupying a land that belongs to the municipality. The same land that is said to be claimed by other numerous undisclosed owners. This then led to Legal Aid refusing to support this community. Their reply was they are busy, caught up with other cases. Continue reading

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Freedom is Not Real if People Don’t Feel Free

Update: A shorter version of this article has been published in the Sunday Tribune and the Daily Maverick.

Freedom is Not Real if People Don't Feel Free

Lindela 'Mashumi' Figlan*

How can you declare from above that people are free from while they themselves talk from below of feeling unfree?

It is true that freedom comes with so many responsibilities. There are responsibilities from above and from below. Freedom is not just about expressing yourself as happy or not happy. There is no real freedom without justice, equality and democracy. Justice, equality and democracy require that people respect each other's dignity and that society is organised around people's dignity. If we were really free every citizen would feel part and parcel of a country that respected their dignity. They would experience this dignity at work, at home and in all the discussions about the future of each community and the country. They would be able to organise and to express their views in safety. Continue reading

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All Charges against the KwaNdengezi Eight Dropped

July 29, 2013
Abahlali baKwaNdengezi Press Statement

All Charges against the KwaNdengezi Eight Dropped

The KwaNdengezi Eight were amongst the eleven comrades arrested on 19 May this year after a protest against their Councillor, the notorious Nqola (Mduduzi Ngcobo). Charges against some comrades were dropped some time ago and on Friday, 26 July 2013, all charges were withdrawn against the remaining eight comrades in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on the grounds that the police had not been able to provide any evidence against the accused.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo Will Launch a New Branch in Cato Crest Tomorrow

 




Click here to see more photographs of the launch.

 

Saturday, 20 July 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo Will Launch a New Branch in Cato Crest Tomorrow

We were planning to launch a new Abahlali baseMjondolo branch in Cato Crest on Sunday 30 June. But as everyone knows Nkululeko Gwala, an Abahlali baseMjondolo member, was assassinated on the 26th of June.

Since Gwala’s assassination our members have been subject to serious intimidation, including open death threats and threats to wipe their jobs, from ANC leaders in the area. A number of our members have had to go underground.

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SACSIS: The Antinomies of Democracy in Durban

http://www.sacsis.org.za/site/article/1721

The Antinomies of Democracy in Durban

by Richard Pithouse

In the last days of June, Nkululeko Gwala was assassinated in Cato Crest – a shack settlement in Durban that is in the process of being upgraded with formal housing. Just over three months ago Thembinkosi Qumbelo was gunned down in the same streets. Both men had been prominent figures in the increasingly bitter struggles around housing that have convulsed Cato Crest in recent months. There have been road blockades, a land occupation – named, as they often are these days, ‘Marikana' – and the offices of two councillors have been burnt down.

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Isolezwe: Bachitha eyokuba mdibi nekaMalema

On Sunday Isolezwe ran an article claiming that Abahlali baseMjondolo was going to join Julius Malema’s new party. This is not true at all – in fact Abahlali baseMjondolo were not approached to confirm or deny this story. Today’s paper carries an article explaining that Abahlali baseMjondolo has never had any plans to join Malema’s party and will not be joining Malema’s party.

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Once again Abahlali baseSiyanda March to Demand Land and Housing in Durban

 

 




 


Click here to see more photographs of this protest.

 

11 July 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Once again Abahlali baseSiyanda March to Demand Land and Housing in Durban

Tomorrow Abahlali baseMjondolo Siyanda Branch will be protesting about all the beating about bushes on their long promised housing in Siyanda.

The Khulula Housing Project was meant for them but due to corruption they were excluded from the project.. It became very difficult when Linda Masinga and Associates were tasked to forcefully remove some residents to transit camps in Richmond Farm in 2009. Everybody knows that there was a blatant corruption in this housing project. The provincial government had acknowledged this and sent its delegation to investigate this in 2009. A Task Team comprised of Abahlali delegates, eThekwini Municipal Officials and KZN provincial officials was set up. A clear promise was made that those marginalized would be housed with the current financial here. But today we are told that eThekwini Road Authority is the only unity in the city that is opposed to our housing project. They say that the land is reserved for unknown future road expansion in case they need it. This is very disappointing because the Department of Human Settlements is willing to go ahead with the housing project as it was negotiated.

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Statement on Last Night’s Road Blockade by Kennedy Road Residents

9 July 2013
Abahlali baseKennedy Press Statement

Statement on Last Night’s Road Blockade by Kennedy Road Residents

Last night, and again this morning, hundreds of us blocked road around the Kennedy Road shack settlement with burning tyres. There is still a heavy police presence in the settlement.

The reason for these road blockades is that Mayor James Nxumalo failed to keep his promise to meet with us. On the 25 of May this year we organised a major road blockade. More than 500 people held the road. At that road blockade we handed over a memorandum of demands which included (1) that the upgrade of Kennedy Road and the provision of housing at Cornubia for everyone that that cannot be accommodated in the Kennedy Road upgrade that was negotiated with Mayor Mlaba’s administration be implemented; (2) that formal electricity be provided to the settlement and (3) that Nigel Gumede be immediately dismissed from his post.

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Daily News: Emotions bared as Gwala buried

http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/emotions-bared-as-gwala-buried-1.1541885#.UdWEFPkwfUU

Emotions bared as Gwala buried

by Nkululeko Nene

It was as in life, so in death for murdered Cato Crest housing activist Nkululeko Gwala, whose funeral on Wednesday was marked by strong emotions and politically charged words.

 

 




Nkululeko Gwala's Funeral – 4 July 2013


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Upgrading Informal Settlements in South Africa – Abahlali baseMjondolo supports a Participatory and Democratic Approach

2 July 2013
Presentation to the Department of Human Settlements National Meeting on the Upgrading of Informal Settlements, Cape Town

Upgrading Informal Settlements in South Africa – Abahlali baseMjondolo supports a Participatory and Democratic Approach

by S'bu Zikode

Apartheid denied most of our people an equal place in the cities. It denied most of our people decent housing. The restoration of the dignity of our people requires that we build democratic and inclusive cities in which there is decent housing for all.

The Promise

The Freedom of Charter of 1955 declared that “All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security.” When the ANC was unbanned in 1990 their posters said “Occupy the Cities!”. When the election came in 1994 we were promised houses. The new Constitution of 1996 insists that “Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing” and makes evictions without an order of the court illegal.

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Memorial Service for Nkululeko Gwala

29 June 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Memorial Service for Nkululeko Gwala

On Wednesday 26 June 2013 at around 21:30pm, Nkululeko Gwala, an Abahlali baseMjondolo member and a well-known and respected housing activist, was assassinated in Cato Crest. Twelve shots were fired at him and he died on the spot. He was the second housing activist to be killed in Cato Crest this year.

Abahlali baseMjondolo will be holding a Memorial Service for Nkululeko Gwala tomorrow, Sunday 30 June 2013. The service will take place at the Cato Crest Sports Ground in Mayville from 09:00am to 12:00pm. There is a strong feeling of fear in the area but we are still are expecting at least 500 shack dwellers from around Mayville and surrounding areas to attend the memorial.

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Nkululeko Gwala Murdered in Cato Crest

27 June 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Nkululeko Gwala Murdered in Cato Crest

uNkululeko Gwala

Last night Nkululeko Gwala, an Abahlali baseMjondolo member, and a well known and respected housing activist, was murdered in Cato Crest. Twelve shots were fired. The style of this assassination is very similar to the assassination of Thembinkosi Qumbelo, also a well known housing activist (but not an AbM member) who was killed in the same area on the 15th of March this year. There are also strong similarities to the attack on our movement in Kennedy Road in 2009.

 

 

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New Abahlali baseMjondolo Branch Launched in the Kennedy Road Settlement Last Night

Friday, 21 June 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

New Abahlali baseMjondolo Branch Launched in the Kennedy Road Settlement Last Night

At 18:00 p.m. last night, 20 June 2013, the Abahlali leadership successfully launched the new Kennedy Abahlali baseMjondolo branch. The Kennedy Road Community Hall was fully packed with Abahlali baseMjondolo members and friends.

 

 




 

 

During the launching the Abahlali Executive Committee took the opportunity to officially hand over the famous Abahlali Cup that was won by the Kennedy Road Soccer Team on the 17 June during the Abahlali Soccer Tournament. This event was enjoyed by many young people who danced as DJ Khanyile was playing music.

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AbM Youth League: Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

14 June 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Movement Youth League Press Statement

AbM Youth League: Building Tomorrow's Leaders Today

On June 16 South Africa will be commemorating the youth of 1976 who lost their lives in Soweto struggling for Justice, Freedom and Democracy. Today's youth will be told to obey today's leaders in order that we should show proper respect to those who lost their lives in 1976. But the reality is that what the youth of 1976 struggled for has not not been implemented as they have wished.

The beauty of Freedom and Democracy was supposed to be everyone. Today it is for the rich. Rich people are getting the multi-racial education and the poor still have the third-rate education which back then was known as Bantu Education. Rich people get jobs. They have cars. They have nice houses. They can get married and move on with their lives. They are safe. This is Freedom to them. The poor have to survive as we can. We go in circles and not forward. We live in shacks. We live in shit and fire. We are evicted. We have no safe and easy transport. The police treat us as criminals. They beat us if we try to organise. If you are young and poor you are treated as a threat to society and not as the future of society. Hector Peterson, Chris Hani, Steve Biko and other comrades who died for our Freedom and Democracy did not die for this. We do not respect their sacrifice by accepting that this is Freedom.

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Mnikelo Ndabankulu – M&G 200 Young South Africans

http://ysa2013.mg.co.za/mnikelo-ndabankulu/

Mnikelo Ndabankulu

 

 




 

 

Mnikelo Ndabankulu is one of 12-million South Africans who “abahlali baseMjondolo” (“live in shack dwellings”), which often lack electricity, sanitation and refuse collection. In 2004 Ndabankulu migrated from the Eastern Cape to Durban in pursuit of a better life. Appalled by the squalor to which South Africa’s urban poor have been relegated, he cofounded the now national Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement (AbM).

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Building Hope & Defending Dignity in the Rural Areas

Colloquium on Rural Development in KwaZulu-Natal
13-14 June 2013

Building Hope & Defending Dignity in the Rural Areas

S'bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo

Some politicians have spoken about migration from rural areas to cities as if it is a criminal matter. Others have said that people from the Eastern Cape are undermining development by coming to Durban and Cape Town. It has even been said that migration to the cities is a matter that must be investigated by the intelligence services as if it is part of some big conspiracy.

The position of our movement is that South Africa belongs to all who live in it and so we all have the same right to move to any part of the country. If a young person from Babanango or Flagstaff wants to move to Durban because she wants to live in the city that is her right and it is a right that we will defend.

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“We are all Turkish democrats”: A Statement of Solidarity with the Turkish Struggle

10 June 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA Press Statement

“We are all Turkish democrats”: A Statement of Solidarity with the Turkish Struggle

Abahlali baseMjondolo is a democratic, membership based movement of shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa. In 2005 our experience of suffering and injustice led us to decided to organize ourselves and to represent ourselves. We are struggling for land and housing as a vital step towards the restoration of our dignity and the recognition of our equality. We have been severely punished by those who want to keep us in our place and we have faced serious repression.

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The Power of Organizing the Urban Poor to Advance Tenure Security

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Power of Organizing the Urban Poor to Advance Tenure Security

Presentation by S'bu Zikode at the Regional Consultation on Security of Tenure called by UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, in Johannesburg.

It is always a pleasure to write and speak on the organising strategies and tactics of Abahlali baseMjondolo. I wish to take this opportunity to thank SERI and the Ford Foundation for including our movement in this special consultation. More importantly I wish to thank the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, for calling this meeting. We had a very good relationship with the previous Rapporteur, Miloon Kothari, who we hosted in the Kennedy Road shack settlement in Durban in 2007. We are happy to welcome Raquel Rolnik to South Africa. When we formed our movement in 2005 we made it very clear that talking about us was not the same as talking to us and that we were determined to take our place in all discussions about our lives and futures. We are a democratic membership based organisation and we can take our place in a discussion like this in confidence that we represent our members rather than donors, projects or narrow political agendas.

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Eleven Abahlali Members Arrested in KwaNdengezi; Nqola Assaults Activist

Update: The nine comrades were released on bail of R500 each. They will appear in court again on 7 June 2014.

Sunday, 19 May 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Eleven Abahlali Members Arrested in KwaNdengezi; Nqola Assaults Activist

The Abahlali baseMjondolo KwaNdengezi branch have vowed to challenge the authoritarian rule of the KwaNdengezi councillor Mduduzi Christian Ngcobo who is known as Ngola.

Nqola continues to plan housing development in the area and to construct, employ and allocate housing on his own without involving the community in any decision making. He continues to intimidate and assault activists in the community. He continues to give houses to the people that are not from the community. In all of these actions he claim that he has the full support of the eThekwini municipality.

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By the time you read this, our homes may have already been demolished

Update: The Anti-Land Invasion Unit and Law Enforcement of the City of Cape Town arrived once again this morning the 17th of May. They destroyed our homes again. As usual, no court order, no checking to see if the homes are occupied and lived in, no mercy. Actions were clearly illegal, immoral and just plain cruel. There have been three arrests. Residents also say that they saw one of the community members being tortured in one of the police Nyalas. Siphiwo – 0836842828, Nosibusiso – 0736128044, Masibu – 0603147788

 

 





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“They destroyed homes, not structures”: Protest at Parliament Today

9 May 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo eMarikana Press Statement

"They destroyed homes, not structures": Protest at Parliament Today

We, as the residents of Marikana, will picket outside Parliament today to show the government that the shacks they destroyed were not unfinished or empty structures, they were our homes that we lived in, that we ate in, that we slept in.

 



Unathorised March on Parliament – 9 May 2013

 

We come as Abahlali, as residents of Marikana, and as shackdwellers who are are being oppressed by government. We do not come as supporters of any political party.

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All that Glitters is not Gold

9 May 2013

All that Glitters is not Gold

By an employee of the Tsogo Sun (Garden Court-Marine Parade)

Our sweat and all our hope that Labour Brokers will one day be banned from this democracy has vanished. We have all supported COSATU and millions of South Africans who have made this call to put an end to the Labour Brokers so as to save our exploited brother and sisters. People working under Labour Brokers are suffering incredible exploitation. We have no sense of security in the world. We are disrespected and humiliated every day.

We are employed by Progress CC in the Tsogo Sun formerly known as the Garden Court Holiday-Inn in Marine Parade on Durban’s beach front. Many of us have worked for more than seven, eight, nine and ten years without being registered with the Department of Labour or any Bargaining Council. There are more than fifty employees but only less than five are employed permanently. Here there is a constant employment as constant firing is an order of the day. We earn R6 per room and are not paid per hour. There is no starting time and therefore no finishing time. We have to work overtime all the time but we are never paid for this time. There is no tea break or lunch hour. It is therefore taken as a crime to eat any time when you are hungry. We are not allowed to eat company food as this constitutes a dismissible crime.

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Sleeping in the rain: even snakes treat us with more respect than the City of Cape Town

Abahlali baseMarikana Press Statement
4 May 2013

Sleeping in the rain: even snakes treat us with more respect than the City of Cape Town

As the homeless residents of Marikana, we are here because we do not have anywhere else to go. We are also now jobless which means we cannot afford to pay rent to live in someone's backyard. We always vote for this government but they always treat us like dogs in our own country. The government sends the Anti-Land Invasions Unit, Law Enforcement and SAPS to demolish our houses. They did this on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and again on Friday the 3rd of May.

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ENCA: Shack dwellers ready to die for ‘Marikana’ land in Cape Town (Television News Report)

For an explanation of why the evictions shown in this television news reports were illegal please see this article at the Daily Maverick.

“This is Marikana because we believe people will die here for this land,” says shack dweller Simphiwe Winston, before hurriedly returning to build his home for the third time in just three days.

The race is on for Winston, who, along with about 100 other people, including women and children, are hurriedly trying to rebuild their shacks before law enforcement officers return to once again destroy them.

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Police shooting at Marikana Land Occupation

Police shooting at Marikana Land Occupation

Police are now shooting at the Marikana community while we have marched to Philippi East SAPS to secure the release of our arrested comrade. We are in front of Beautiful Gate on Stock Road. Friends and media are urged to rush to the scene.

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AbM-WC Press Statement
17h00 on 30 April 2013

Earlier today we sent out notice that the City's Anti-Land Invasions Unit, Law Enforcement and SAPS had arrived again at Marikana shack settlement to destroy our homes. This was the third time they destroyed our community.

This time they came with a few more police vehicles than on Sunday. People protested the police but were peaceful and restrained. Police proceeded to destroy all but a couple of our homes. Luckily, this time, no one was hurt or beaten by Law Enforcement. But, once again, they purposely broke people's belongings: beds, cupboards, stoves, etc. The City of Cape Town must be held liable for the illegal destruction of our property.

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Isolezwe: Bafuna ashenxe esikhundleni uGumede

 

 




 

 

Abahlali Want Gumede Out

The article describes how the he campaign to have Gumede fired by the Mayor James Nxumalo is gaining momentum. It quotes AbM saying that Gumedes failure to provide leadership and deal with corruption, to provide open no housing lists etc demonstrate his lack of required leadership in Human settlement. It also says that as we speak in KwaNdengezi, Uganda and Isipingo houses are being sold. It also touches on the recent AbM victory in court and the question of police brutality.

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Marikana: A New Land Occupation Founded on UnFreedom Day 2013

 

 




Shacks Demolished at the Marikana Land Occupation

 

 

Update: 29 April 2013 10:18 p.m After massive pressure from comrades at the police station the police agreed to release the two arrested comrades at around 9:00 p.m.. At the same time shacks were rebuilt on the newly occupied land.

Update: 29 April 2013 4:18 p.m Two hundred comrades have barricaded the police station. Others are defending the occupation and rebuilding. The Police Commissioner has said that they are being used by the third force.

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UnFreedom Day in Durban

 

 




UnFeeedom Day 2013 in Durban

 

 

Click here to see the Isolezwe article on UnFreedom Day and here to see the report on ENCA.

Friday 26 April , 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA Press Statement

UnFreedom Day in Durban

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, a democratic and membership based organization, has held its UnFreedom Day event in Durban every year since 2006. This year UnFreedom Day will be held in Durban and in Cape Town.

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UnFreedom Day in Cape Town

 

 




UnFreedom Day 2013 in Cape Town

 

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Press Statement

UnFreedom Day in Cape Town

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, a democratic and membership based organization, has held its UnFreedom Day event in Durban every year since 2006. This year UnFreedom Day will be held in Cape Town for the first time. UnFreedom Day will be mourned at the Sweet Home Farm Community Hall in Philippi, on 27 April 2013. The event will begin at 09:00 in the morning.

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Minister of Police to pay damages to Abahlali members for police brutality

MEDIA STATEMENT
22 April 2013
Issued by:

Abahlali baseMjondolo
Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)

Minister of Police to pay damages to Abahlali members for police brutality

Police ministry agrees to pay damages after police brutality against Abahlali baseMjondolo members in 2006

Today, the Durban High Court ordered the Minister of Police to pay a total of R165 000 in damages to two members of shackdwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo – Sbu Zikode and Philani Zungu – and one resident of the Kennedy Road informal settlement. The order, made by agreement, comes after officers from Sydenham Police Station illegally arrested and assaulted Zungu while he and Zikode were travelling to a radio debate with the then KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Housing, Mike Mabuyakhulu, in September 2006. Other officers from Sydenham Police Station then illegally shot a woman at the Kennedy Road informal settlement. The woman was part of a crowd which had gathered to demonstrate against the arrest of Zikode and Zungu.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo case against the Minister of Police Returns to the Durban High Court on Monday, 22 April 2013

20 April 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo case against the Minister of Police Returns to the Durban High Court on Monday, 22 April 2013

On the 12th of September 2006 S'bu Zikode and Philani Zungu, then the
chairperson and deputy chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo, were arrested on
their way to a radio interview and subject to severe assault in the Sydenham
Police Station. When people in the nearby Kennedy Road shack settlement
rallied in support of Zikode and Zungu they were attacked by the police and
Nondumiso Mke was shot in her knee with live ammunition. The arrest and

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The suspect in the KwaNdengezi bush knife murders and Ward 12 Cllr Nqola Ngcobo return to Court

17 April 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement Press statement

The suspect in the KwaNdengezi bush knife murders and Ward 12 Cllr Nqola Ngcobo return to Court

Abahlali bakwaNdengezi with the support of Abahlali baseMjondolo in general will be going to the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court today.

We will be protesting at the bail application of the accused in the KwaNdengezi bush knife murders. We will demand that bail be denied in the interests of the safety of the community and that there be a thorough investigation into these murders that looks closely at the motive for the killing. It will be remembered that last time the magistrate had ordered that the suspect‘s state of mind be examined by relevant doctors. The suspect had killed two comrades in one Abahlali family and then ran to another Abahlali family where he assaulted Mr Shozi. This was in a community where Abahlali members have been under serious intimidation, including threats of violence, for some time.

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Murder in KwaNdengezi

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
30 March 2013

Murder in KwaNdengezi

On Good Friday those of us who are Christians remember the murder of Jesus Christ who spurned the rich and walked with the poor. We never forget that Jesus Christ was murdered by the state for the crime of taking the side of the poor.

This year Good Friday in KwaNdengezi was marked with the blood, terror and grief of the poor.

At around 22:00pm on Thursday night Dumisane Mdletshe, a 31 year old man whose family live in KwaNdengezi although he no longer lives there, went to the home of a well known, well respected and brave AbM leader in KwaNdengezi. He kicked open the door and entered the home. He had a bush knife. He attacked her grandmother and her uncle and killed them both. They were both AbM members. He then asked for the AbM leader who had escaped in the dark. We are not giving her name until we have secured a safe house for her.

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Anti Wonga, Crime and Rape Protest in KwaMashu on 21 March 2013

20 March 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League Press Statement

Anti Wonga, Crime and Rape Protest in KwaMashu on 21 March 2013

As tomorrow is Human Rights Day the Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League will be holding a protest on some of the issues that are concerning the youth.

 



The March Went Off Very Well – The Threatened Counter March by the Councillor Fizzled Out

 

Our protest will raise awareness and concern about the use of the drug called wonga that many of the young people had been involved into. This drug is a killer to our young people who are our treasure. We as the movement regard our young lions to be the future of our country. The most difficult thing is that once people crave this drug they committee crime like stealing things and sell them to get this drug. Once they consume this drug some people also commit other crimes like rape.

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Nigel Gumede Must Go

19 March 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Nigel Gumede Must Go

Everyone knows how serious the land and housing crisis is in Durban. According to the eThekwini Municipality there are more than 400 000 shack dwellers waiting for houses in the city. There are also 11 000 families rotting in transit camps. But the city is failing to build enough houses for the people. The Sunday Tribune reported that they only built 1 268 houses in the last financial year. And these houses are more like dog kennels than homes. Every year money from the housing budget is returned unspent. And after the scandals around the Manase report, Nqola and S'bu and Shauwn Mpisane everyone knows how bad the corruption is. Many people have been killed in struggles over housing. Cato Crest is just one example. We have also seen people being killed in places like KwaNdengezi and Uganda. Calls, letters and marches to the housing department go ignored. Court orders are also ignored. We have called for a public citywide list for the people in need of housing so that there could be transparency in the housing allocation. But the politicians refuse this idea so they can corrupt, monopolize and politicise housing delivery.

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The Dignity of the Poor is Vandalized from Many Quarters

http://hir.harvard.edu/blog/visitor/the-dignity-of-the-poor-is-vandalized-from-many-quarters

The Dignity of the Poor is Vandalized from Many Quarters

by Abahlali baseMjondolo (KwaZulu-Natal), Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) & the Unemployed People's Movement (Eastern Cape, Free State & KwaZulu-Natal)

When black people rose up against apartheid, the government usually said that they couldn’t have organized themselves and that there must have been a white person making them resist. Some thought that only whites were capable of thinking, speaking, and acting for themselves. But it was not only the government that looked for conspiracies every time black people organized themselves. This also happened within the movement.

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Victory for KwaNdengezi

14 March 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement

Victory for KwaNdengezi

Three comrades from KwaNdengezi had all charges against them withdrawn in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Their arrest followed a protest against the alleged selling of RDP houses by Nqola, the Ward 12 councillor. Four comrades were arrested to shield Nqola’s corrupt allocation of houses and his attempts to intimidate comrades organising in the area. Mandla Hlophe, one of the four, had all charges against him dropped on the 28 February 2013, by the same court. The three comrades who had all charges against them withdrawn yesterday are Cde Ephrame Hlongwane, Cde Mndeni Nene and Cde Cindy Mabaso.

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Letter to the Head of Community Participation in the eThekwini Municipality on International Women’s Day

8 March 2013
Women’s League Press Statement
(See letter to the Municipality attached)

Letter to the Head of Community Participation in the eThekwini Municipality on International Women's Day

Today’s is the International Women Rights day, dedicated to affirming and demanding rights for woman around the world; we as the Abahlali BaseMjondolo Women's League do the same. It is nice that we have these rights on paper but it remains a shame in our country that such important rights are not respected and are routinely violated. It is disappointing that we as women have such rights, but are still abused by the government are forced to live without basic services like water, electricity and access to housing. Moreover, women and children being sexually and physically abused everyday.

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Protocols are a waste of time for the poor; Appointments are delaying tactics while we suffer

6 March 2013
Woman’s League Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo Women's League Marched into the Durban City Hall Today

Protocols are a waste of time for the poor; Appointments are delaying tactics while we suffer.

On Saturday 2 March 2013, Abahlali baseMjondolo Woman’s League had its General Meeting. The KwaNdengezi branch was present and shared their painful story of living under constant threat from their Ward 12 councillor and that they are not even sleeping in their own homes due to threats.

 




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Thandiswa Qubuda has Died

1 March 2013
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

Thandiswa Qubuda has Died

Dark clouds are not strangers in our patriarchal society. They are gaining momentum. On Thursday night, 28 February 2013, Thandiswa Qubuda passed from this world. She had spent six weeks in hospital, brain dead, after she was savagely raped and beaten.

We ask ourselves why her story, such a painful story, is not getting media coverage and creating an uproar. The lives of poor people count for nothing in this country. There is no democracy for us.

After Andries Tatane, Marikana and now Mido Macia the whole world knows that we are oppressed by a police force every bit as savage as the police force under apartheid. But the evil is not only in the state. It is amongst us too. This is the truth that we must face. Our struggle to build a society in which every person counts is with ourselves as well as with the state and the capitalists.

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Launch of the Sweet Home Farm Abahlali baseMjondolo Branch

28 February 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Launch of the Sweet Home Farm Abahlali baseMjondolo Branch

The Sweet Home Farm community will be launching its branch under the banner of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement South Africa, this coming weekend on the 2013-03-02 @ 11:00 in their Local Community Hall next to St. Barnabas Anglican Church. One should remember that, this is a membership based organization struggling for the restoration of human dignity of the majority of poor South Africans. Sweet Home Farm is situated in ward (80) eighty, Philippi in Cape Town, a place where people live in shacks .

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All Charges Against One of the KwaNdengezi Four Dropped

Thursday, 28 February 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

All Charges Against One of the KwaNdengezi Four Dropped

All charges against Mandla Hlope were withdrawn in the Pinetown Magistrate’s ‘’C” Court this morning.

Hlope is one of the KwaNdengezi Four arrested on the 28th of January following protests against corruption and intimidation in the area. Residents of the area have accused the local councilor, Mduduzi Christian (Nqola) Ngcobo, of corruption and intimidation. Ngcobo ordered the police to arrest the four. Hlope was charged with public violence and assault.

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It is Time for Real Action Against Rape

Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

It is Time for Real Action Against Rape

Thandiswa Qubuda was gang raped in the early hours of the 20th January 2013 at the corner of New Town and E Street in Grahamstown. She is 30 years old and the only one surviving in the family. Both her both parents have died and she was living with her aunt.

She was savagely beaten during the rape and is now permanently brain damaged and lying in hospital. Today at 12 noon the Revered Mzi Dyantyi, family members and the Unemployed People's Movement held a prayer and anointment in her ward.

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Housing ‘Delivery’ in Durban is Corrupt from the Top to the Bottom

Uganda Transit Camp, Durban: A report from the frontlines of the struggle for democracy

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-02-13-uganda-transit-camp-durban-a-report-from-the-frontlines-of-the-struggle-for-democracy/

Just two decades after the dawn of democracy, an old horror is revisiting the new South Africa. Transit camps are back, and they are back with a vengeance, writes JARED SACKS.

Close to midnight and you can still hear babies wailing, couples quarrelling and house music blaring through the razor-thin zinc sheets that the eThekwini Municipality calls “walls” in Uganda Transit Camp near Isipingo, Durban. Getting a decent night’s sleep is a struggle in and of itself. And yet, that’s only the beginning.

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Non-Elective Annual General Meeting

1 February 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Abhalali baseMjondolo Non-Elective Annual General Meeting

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA will be holding its Annual General Meeting tomorrow at the St. Paul's Church (Rubin Hall) in central Durban. The meeting will begin at 10:00pm tomorrow and finish after 2:00pm. The elective AGM will be held in October this year.

All branches and affiliated settlements in good standing have been invited to elect and mandate representatives to attend this meeting. Those representatives will then report back to the next meetings of their branches and affiliated settlements.

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Update from the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court

29 January 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Update from the Pinetown Magistrate's Court

Abahlali baseMjondolo were at the Pinetown magistrate's court today in our numbers where one of the four comrades from KwaNdengezi appeared on one charge of assault. Comrade Mandla Hlophe was released on warning. His matter has been adjourned for the 19th of February 2013.

 

 

 


 

 



At the Pinetown Magistrate's Court, 29 January 2013

 

 

 

The other three comrades were not brought to court on the ground that more charges are still to be laid on to them. Right now we are told that at least four charges are laid against each one of them: public violence, damage to property, assault with gross bodily harm (GBH) and robbery. We have no doubt that all these charges have been fabricated and that this will become clear if this matter ever goes to trial.

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Four Arrests in KwaNdengezi

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
29 January 2013

Four Arrests in KwaNdengezi

During a protest on Sunday 27 January 2013 people of KwaNdengezi were threatened at gunpoint by an MK Veteran who is one of those who allegedly bought the corrupted RDP houses of the people of KwaNgendengezi. We opened a case of intimidation against this man but it was never investigated and he is still not arrested for that.

Yesterday at around 03:00 p.m.the same MK Veteran and the councillor of the area, Mduduzi Ngcobo, came with the police and pointed out which protesters they wanted the police to arrest. This is how it usually works – the councillors tell the police who to arrest.

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Protesters Threatened in KwaNdengezi

27 January 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

Protesters Threatened in KwaNdengezi

Abahlali KwaNdengezi are currently engaging in a protest against corrupt and authoritarian development. Abahlali KwaNdengezi have had no choice but to defend their homes, their graves, their culture and of course their dignity against the eThekwini Municipality’s failed housing project in their area. They are currently protesting against a corrupt housing project that is being imposed on people from above without consultation or respect. Once again we see that failing political leadership creates hatred and violence in our communities.

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Residents in Joe Slovo and Langa TRA continue to be sidelined by corruption

Abahlali kwaLanga TRA Press Statement
19 January 2013

Residents in Joe Slovo and Langa TRA continue to be sidelined by corruption

We as Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) are not satisfied by the way the government treats our communities. The worst part is that those who are richer do not feel ashamed to steal from the poor. We have been crying to our government, but we have been ignored.

The only thing we are fed by these people we are looking up to is lies. In the Langa TRA’s, ever since the Housing Development Agency (HDA) took over, corruption has increased. People have been robbed of their houses. They have been told to sign in order to get their housing but nothing came up. Later they were told the houses they had signed for were not theirs. These families now are stranded. They are being kept by their extended families.

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Abahlali with QQ Section residents are circumventing politics and delivering aid directly to BM fire victims

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape – QQ Section Branch

Abahlali with QQ Section residents are circumventing politics and delivering aid directly to BM fire victims

On Saturday, the 12th of January, residents of QQ Section will be handing out used doors, mattresses, food, new school uniforms and other items to the victims of the recent BM Section fire.

We have been able to acquire these items through our own means. However, most of the aid that is meant to go to the victims of the fire, is being given out by Disaster Management (associated with the DA) or by SANCO and various NGOs (associated with the ANC). The aid is being politicised and the political parties are using the aid for their own electioneering benefit. Often, the aid is not even going to those who need it most.

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From South Africa to Baltimore

On October 11, 2012, United Workers, the Public Justice Center, Baltimore Occupy Our Homes, and the Baltimore Right to Housing Alliance hosted a screening in Baltimore of the new documentary "Dear Mandela." The film tells the story of Abahlali baseMjondolo, South Africa's shack dweller's movement, and their fight for their homes, challenging state evictions on the streets and in the courts.

After the screening, two members of Abahlali baseMjond

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Government policies are behind the shack-fire epidemic in Cape Town

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape
1 January 2012

Government policies are behind the shack-fire epidemic in Cape Town

As residents of QQ Section shack settlement and members of the movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, we would like to say that we are not happy about what happened early this morning across the street from QQ Section.

A massive shack-fire, which started at around 4am, swept through almost the entire shack settlement of BM Section leaving thousands homeless and at least three (but possibly as much as six) people dead. We have a few Abahlali members in the settlement and, as residents of QQ Section, we also have a large number of friends and family who also were affected by the fire. We therefore remain in living solidarity with all those affect by the fire in BM section and other shack fires in WD Section and in Du Noon.

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Devastating Fire Rips Through the Palmiet Settlement

25 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

At around 23:00 last night a fire ripped through the Palmiet Road shack settlement in Durban. 85 houses burnt down, around 150 people have been displaced. 2 people were badly burnt and another was injured as she fell while running from the fire.

Shack fires are no accident. They are political – a direct result of the contempt with which poor people are treated in this society.

For comment please contact:

Mnikelo Ndabankulu: 081 309 5485
Ntombemhlophe Zothwa: 083 218 1934

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Shack Fire in the Kennedy Road Settlement

Sunday 23rd December 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Shack Fire in the Kennedy Road Settlement

At around 4am a fire hit the eShishunqa section of the Kennedy Road settlement in Clare Estate in Durban. Around twenty shacks were gutted. There have not been any reports of injury or death.

One of the people whose home was destroyed was planning to return to her rural home tomorow and lost all the food and money for stokvel.

Shack fires are not just accidents or natural disasters. They are a result of the way in which we are forced to live. Our movement has been struggling since 2005 for shack fires to be recognised as a political crisis resulting from the contempt with which poor people are treated in this society. This struggle continues. Everytime there is a fire the police and munucipality issue statements blaming the fire on alcohol or what they call "illegal electricity connections". They say these things without making any attempt to find out the real cause of fires. The most common cause of fires is in fact candles. For this reason our struggle against the fires has always included a struggle for the immediate electrification of all shack settlements. When we started our struggle the eThekwini Municipality refused to electrify shack settlements and sent out armed men to disconnect people who connected themselves. As a result of our struggle this inhumane policy has being overturned and a start has been made with electrifying shack settlements in Durban. However the process is too slow and like everything else in this municipality it is being channelled through the local structures of the ruling party rather than being developed as a universal right for all residents.

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Protest at Government Failure to Assist Shack Dwellers After the Storm

1 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Protest at Government Failure to Assist Shack Dwellers After the Storm

The huge storm that hit Durban last night has left several communities reeling. People's homes have been flooded and some have been washed away.

As always shack dwellers we are more vulnerable to these disasters than most other people. For years we have been trying to engage the eThekwini Municipality around both their failure to take adequate measures to protect shack dwellers from disasters like fire and floods and to offer proper support to shack dwellers after disasters. But the municipality only gives its time for the people for political issues and not ever for issues of development.

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ANC Intimidation in Clare Estate this Morning

7 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

March Gets Underway Despite ANC Intimidation in Clare Estate this Morning

From early this morning Ward 23 councillor Themba Mtshali went from shack settlement to shack settlement in Ward 23 intimidating people and warning them not to participate in today's march – which was been unlawfully banned by the local SAPS. Mtshali was accompanied by his BEC and his (always armed) bodyguards.

There was also a large police presence in the area. The police were heavily armed and had two water cannons. In light of the fact that it was the police that unlawfully banned the march and their history of violence against our movement – and their support of violence against us from the ruling party – their presence there may also have been a form of intimidation. We know that their work is often to protect the politicians – not the people or what's left of our democracy. However the marchers were able to assemble and to begin the march. The police did not try to disperse them so it seems that they have backed down from their ban in face of the pressure. There is also a strong media presence. However ANC supporters have massed at the councillor's offices and are saying that they will block us from delivering our memorandum.

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Threats of Violence Against Tomorrow’s March

6 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Threats of Violence Against Tomorrow's March

Our movement often gets reliable information from within the ANC and government structures from people that are sympathetic to our movement and our struggle. Today we have been informed by a number of highly credible sources that the Ward 23 Councillor, Themba Mtshali, and the chairperson of the local BEC of the ANC, have been mobilising people to disrupt our march tomorrow. We have been told that they aim to prevent the march from going ahead and to use their own violence to justify the illegal ban on our march.

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Memorandum of Demands to the Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal Dr. Zweli Mkhize and Cllr Themba Mtshali

Memorandum of Demands to the Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal Dr. Zweli Mkhize and Cllr Themba Mtshali – Delivered by a March on the Offices of Themba Mtshali on Friday, 7 December 2012

We, the residents, men and women, of Ward 23 and members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA in KwaZulu-Natal are democrats committed to the flourishing of this country. We speak for ourselves and direct our own struggle. We have been mobilized by our own suffering and our hope for a better future.

It is time to take seriously the fact that land is a serious problem in our country. It is time to take seriously that land was stolen from our ancestors and that this has impoverished us. It is time to take seriously that housing development in this city is a corrupt mess that does not just leave us without houses or services but has also terrorized our communities.

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SAPS Attempt to Illegally Ban Protest in Durban

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
5 December 2012

SAPS Attempt to Illegally Ban Protest in Durban

The Abahlali baseMjondolo branch in the Palmiet Road shack settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, has decided to march on the Ward 23 councillor, Themba Mtshali. They have been supported in this decision by all other Abahlali baseMjondolo branches in the ward.

Mtshali is one of the shack dwellers who became a councillor in the last local government elections as part of the ANC's strategy of trying to contain our movement – a strategy that has included serious repression and intimidation, attempts at co-option, channelling our victories through ANC structures and bringing non-AbM shack dwellers into positions of leadership in the local party structures. However like all other councillors Mtshali is remoted from above and is only an instrument for implementing top down decisions by the party and municipal structures. He does not engage people democratically. In fact it is impossible to even arrange a meeting with him. He has failed the people of Ward 23 and in particular he has failed the poor of Ward 23. Even though he was poor himself a few years ago he is now a councillor and so, as with all councillors, we are not worthy of respect in his eyes because we are poor.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo Takes the Minister of Police to Court to Account for Police Repression in Durban

4 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo Takes the Minister of Police to Court to Account for Police Repression in Durban

On the 12th of September 2006 S'bu Zikode and Philani Zungu, then the chairperson and deputy chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo, were arrested on their way to a radio interview and subject to severe assault in the Sydenham Police Station. When people in the nearby Kennedy Road shack settlement rallied in support of Zikode and Zungu they were attacked by the police and Nondumiso Mke was shot in her knee with live ammunition. The arrest and assault from police at the hands of the police was highly politicised and followed intimidation from senior politicians that including a warning that the movement must stop its communication with the media. For background to this see the statement online at http://abahlali.org/node/72

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Breaking the Silence on Woman Abuse

Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League Press Statement
30 November 2012

Breaking the Silence on Woman Abuse

Each and every day is a challenge to women who are facing different kinds of abuse. It is often hard for them to speak out about it. Some of the women are abused by their boyfriends or husbands. Others are abused even within their families by their family members and because they are woman they feel that they must keep quiet about it. Women are also abused by landlords, government officials and politicians. Some rich women are also abused by the men in their communities but rich women are not abused by government officials and politicians. Being poor makes a person vulnerable to all kinds of abuses because poor people are not taken as people that count in this society. We are not taken as people with rights. In fact keeping some people poor is a kind of lifelong and day to day abuse too.

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New Branches & New Struggles in KwaNdengezi & Isipingo

27 November 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

New Branches & New Struggles in KwaNdengezi & Isipingo

On Sunday the 18th of November 120 people, mainly women, participated in the launch of the new Abahlali baseMjondolo(AbM) branch in KwaNdengezi. On Sunday the 25th of November we launched another new AbM branch in the Uganda settlement in Isipingo. We currently have 64 branches, 55 in KwaZulu-Natal and 9 in the Western Cape.

 


Abahlali baseMjondolo Launch at KwaNdengezi

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The Politic of Human Dignity

The Politic of Human Dignity

presented by Lindela Figlan at the Anarchist Bookfair, London, 24 October 2012

The meaning of dignity is often misunderstood. Many people only think of dignity in relation to the economic status of those who are better off. This is understood to mean that a person with no money is taken as a person whose life and voice does not count and is therefore a person with no dignity. It is also understood that a person with money does count and is therefore a person with dignity. But no amount of money can buy dignity.

Money can buy many things. With money you can live in a house that will not be demolished without warning, that does not leak in the rain, that has water, toilets and electricity. With money you can even give your children their own rooms. With money you can buy your children education and know that if they fall sick or meet with an accident they well be well looked after.

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We Demand that the Manase Report be Released

We Demand that the Manase Report be Released

by Thinabantu Khanyile & Bandile Mdlalose

Everybody knows that in Durban housing development does not really operate to meet the needs of the people. In reality it has three main objectives. One is to remove the poor from the city to the human dumping grounds. The second is to make poor people dependent on the state and thereby the ruling party. The third is to enrich people that are loyal to the ruling party. Everybody knows that corruption is rampant in housing from the top to the bottom. Low-cost housing has made some people millionaires. Everybody also knows that housing and other services are going to party members. This, along with repression and co-option, is one of the main ways that the ruling party tries to break independent organiszation. For instance if there is a fire they often try to prevent people from rebuilding on their own and then replace the people’s shacks with government shacks (amatins) which are only given to party members.

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Land is at the Heart of our Struggle

Land is at the Heart of our Struggle

Yes I have to be bold and proud to be a South African. But I’m not proud because our lovely country belongs to the wrong hands. Our struggle began with the question of land and land remains at the centre of our struggle today.

In the old days the people in this country were so united. Even those who were not interested in politics they ended up in politics. This unity came from the fact that they were crying for the land of their forefathers that had been confiscated by those who thought the land was supposed to be under their authority. The people's land had been stolen, fenced and sold.

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Road blockade and protests to restore democracy and end corruption in KwaNdengezi and Shallcross

22 October 2012
Abahlali bakwaNdengezi Press statement

Road blockade and protests to restore democracy and end corruption in
KwaNdengezi and Shallcross

The struggle for land, housing and dignity continues in KwaNdengezi.

Mduduzi Ngcobo, the KwaNdengezi Ward 12 councillor has been terrorizing this
community for a long time. It must be remembered that this community had to
march on the 31 August 2012 demanding that the Speaker of eThekwini
Municipality Logie Naidoo intervene in what the community calls Ngcobo acting
as both a referee and a player in new housing project. But as always Logie is

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Rural Network Protest in Pietermaritzburg on 23 October 2012

22 October 2012
Rural Network Press Statement

Rural Network Protest in Pietermaritzburg on 23 October 2012

We, the Rural Network, together with our comrades in Abahlali baseMjondolo and other poor people’s organisations, will be having a public protest march on the 23rd of October, 2012, in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal. In light of the government’s failure to address the unlawful arrest of school children, illegal cattle impoundment, forced evictions and land distribution issues, we have been emboldened to march in order to keep the Department of Land Affairs (Department of Rural Development and Land Reform), and the Department of Justice accountable for their responsibilities. Moreover, violent actions by private farm security companies directed at farm tenants, dishonest officials changing their identities and equality violations continue as the government fails to arrest, question, and prosecute the initiators of illicit behaviour.

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Lindela ‘Mashumi’ Figlan

Lindela 'Mashumi' Figlan

Lindela Figlan was born on the 27th of December 1970 in J.B. Location in Flagstaff in Pondoland in what was then the Transkei bantustan.

His mother was from the Radebe family and she kept the home. His father was secretary of the congress that went into revolt on Ngquza Hill in 1960. More than 4 000 men occupied Ngquza Hill. They were determined to fight for their land and for their dignity. The apartheid state sent in the military and there was a massacre. The courage of the men on Ngquza Hill is always remembered in Pondoland today. The songs from that struggle, like 'Asiyifuni idompas', are still sung today. When Lindela was a young boy the police used to come to their home from time to time, kick in the door and kidnap his father. Sometimes they would take him to a place known as Betani where they would force him to dig potatoes with his hands saying that they did not want to risk damaging their tools. When he came home his fingernails would be red.

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Kennedy Road Shack Dwellers Sue Police

Issed by: Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)
27 September 2012

KENNEDY ROAD SHACKDWELLERS SUE POLICE

Former residents of the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban are pursuing damages claims against the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, three years after the police failed to protect them from an armed gang that invaded the settlement in September 2009. This is an important case because it holds the police responsible to prevent violence perpetuated by others when it is in a position to do so.

On 25 September 2012, summons and particulars of claim were served and filed in the Durban High Court. Abahlali baseMjondolo (Abahlali), a national movement of shackdwellers, is also a plaintiff in the proceedings, along with the 52 individuals. This action comes after the residents gave notice of their intention to pursue a damages claim in terms of section 3 of the Institution of Legal Proceedings against Certain Organs of State Act 40 of 2002 on 24 March 2010.

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Three Years after the Attack on our Movement, the Kennedy Road Displacees Remain Homeless and in Exile

27 September 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Three Years after the Attack on our Movement, the Kennedy Road Displacees Remain Homeless and in Exile

The attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in 2009 set a tone for KwaZulu-Natal to become the province where warlordism and the assassination of leaders and activists has become the order of the day. It was also a warning to the poor that we should accept landlessness, homelessness and all forms of injustices and inequality as the order of the day if we want to survive this democracy.

It was on the night of the 26th, 27th and 28th of September 2009 that the whole political plot was concluded and carried out to assassinate the leadership of Abahlali. We know and we want the nation and the whole world to know that this plot was planned at a very high political level in our province. The plot was not just aimed at reigniting the politic of fear and assassination among those of us who refuse to accept fear. It was also aimed at tearing apart our movement – a movement that has brought us together, a movement that has made us realise how much power and value we have when we stand together. A movement that has shown us how we were made poor by colonial rule, by apartheid and by the post-apartheid state. A movement that has insisted that democracy means that everyone has the same right to participate in decision making and that the land, cities and wealth of our country must be shared and managed equally.

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Remembering Steve Biko: a Bright & Guiding Light in Dark Times

Address by Bishop Rubin Phillip, Anglican Bishop of Natal(KZN) – at St Philip’s Anglican Church, Fingo Village in Grahamstown, 19th September, 2012.

Remembering Steve Biko: a Bright & Guiding Light in Dark Times

As the Unemployed People's Movement have noted we gather here in Grahamstown to honour the memory of Steve Biko, a man who was indeed a bright and guiding light, at a moment when a dark night is settling over our country. As the light of our democratic dawn dims we all have to look inward and find our courage, individually and collectively, for the struggles ahead. Make no mistake – the massacre at Marikana was a turning point and the path ahead will be difficult and will require real courage.

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Abahlali to celebrate Heritage Day at Lindokuhle Community Crèche

22 September 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Abahlali to celebrate Heritage Day at Lindokuhle Community Crèche

On Monday 24 September Abahlali will be joining many South Africans who still see heritage month as significant in our time. We believe that our culture helps us not only to define our identify but also our humanity as well.

We will be celebrating this day with cultural entertainment that shows the diversity of our communities and our struggle. We continue to insist that everyone in the shacks is from the shacks and is therefore a person who has a valuable contribution to make to the struggle of the poor. We continue to refuse to let politicians and others misuse language and culture to divide and thereby weaken the poor

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Court Victory Against the eThekwini Muncipality!

MEDIA STATEMENT
Issued by: Abahlali baseMjondolo and Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (SERI)
19 September 2012

VICTORY FOR FORGOTTEN SHACK DWELLERS

High Court orders eThekwini Mayor, City Manager and Director of Housing responsible for ensuring compliance with court order to provide houses to evicted Siyanda occupiers

Today the Durban High Court handed down a ground-breaking judgment in Mchunu and Others v Executive Mayor of eThekwini and others, following a hearing held on 17 September 2012. The decision, given by Acting Judge Nigel Hollis, requires the Mayor of eThekwini, the City Manager and the Director of Housing to take all the necessary steps, within three months, to provide permanent housing to 37 poor families living in a transit camp near KwaMashu, Durban. If they do not, they may be fined or imprisoned.

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Abahlali baseSiyanda vs eThekwini Municipality

18 September 2012
Abahlali press statement

Abahlali baseSiyanda vs eThekwini Municipality

The failure of the eThekwini municipality to comply with an order of the court that compels it to house the residents of Siyanda who have been left to rot in the Richmond Farm transit camp has clearly indicated that the City is law unto itself.

Yesterday the Court heard both the sides of Abahlali and eThekwini and held the judgment. The judge said it was going to handed down in few days. We have just received a call from our legal team saying that tomorrow, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 at 9am the judgment will be handed down at the Durban High Court.

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Mnikelo Ndababnkulu and Zodwa Nsibande Speak at Dear Mandela Screenings and other Events in the USA & Haiti

DEAR MANDELA UNITED STATES SCREENING TOUR

This month, the Poverty Initiative, together with Sleeping Giant Films, National Economic Social Rights Initiative and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), will host two youth leaders from the Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shackdwellers) movement of South Africa for a month-long exchange and film tour. AbM leaders, Zodwa Nsibande and Mnikelo Ndabankulu, are featured in the award-winning film Dear Mandela. These inspiring leaders will share their experience and analysis of the largest social movement of the poor in post apartheid South Africa, and will engage with young people in 7 cities in a conversation about innovative leadership, bottom-up democracy, and the role of the youth in fighting for our human rights to housing, healthcare and a decent wage.

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Abahlali baseRichmond Farm are taking the eThekwini Municipality to Court

16 September 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseRichmond Farm are taking the eThekwini Municipality to Court

In 2009 Siyanda residents near KwaMashu were evicted by the Dept. of Transport and relocated from their shacks into Transit camps so they could build the road which is known as Dumisani Makhaye (R577). The residents contested the eviction in the streets and in the courts but an eviction order was granted by the Durban High Court and the residents were evicted and relocated on 17 March 2009. However the court order that was given stated that all basic services should be provided in the transit camps and that the residents should all be moved to formal houses within 12 months. Water, electricity and sanitation were not provided and the residents are still rotting in the transit camp. The municipality has simply ignored the court order. Moreover for the past 3 years their children have suffered the pain of walking a long distance to their schools because of the relocation.

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Mnikelo Ndabankulu Speaking on the Marikana Massacre in the Grahamstown Cathedral

Marikana Memorial Service: Praying for a Just Peace

Presider: Bishop Ebenezer Ntali
Preacher: Prof. Barney Pityana

The Cathedral of St. Michael & St. George, Grahamstown, 30 August 2012

Excerpt from The Prayers of the People

Help us to shatter the structures
which prosper the rich at the expense of the poor
so that all people of this land
may experience economic emancipation

The service was followed by a march on the local police station.

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Housing Development Agency trying to illegally evict resident in Langa TRA – today

31 August 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Press Statement

Housing Development Agency trying to illegally evict resident in Langa TRA – today

For months, the local residents committee in Langa Temporary Relocation Area has been illegally selling government built shacks. Many of the people buying the shacks already have alternative accomodation and are doing it in the hopes that they will 'cut the line' and be allocated a RDP house. They don't need a TRA structure. This corruption has been supported by the Housing Development Agency and we now have evidence that at least one member is directly involved in the corruption taking place. On top of that, HDA apparently has decided to demolish some of the TRA structures – we don’t know why because they refuse to communicate this to us.

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KwaNdengezi Protest to Councillor Ngcobo of Ward 12

Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement
30 August 2012

KwaNdengezi Protest to Councillor Ngcobo of Ward 12

The KwaNdengezi community of Ward 12 under Councillor Mduduzi Ngcobo, will be having a protest on Friday. The reason for the protest is that the councillor has failed to engage with the community and has also failed to fulfil his promises to the community.

In 2010 the Cllr called a consultation meeting with the community and the Housing Department about the housing project that would take place in the community. Before accepting the project the community raised concerns about their families’ grave yards. They said that a housing project should not frustrate people but improve people’s lives. It was agreed that before the project starts another community meeting will be called, to discuss how it should be structured. It was also agreed that as this is a community project therefore it should be driven by the community.

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Bishop Rubin Philip’s Sermon at the Marikana Massacre Memorial Service

Marikana Massacre Memorial Service
Friday, 24th August 2012, Emmanuel Cathedral

And so, again, the truth of our country is in dead black bodies littering the ground. Once again, the truth of our time is that people asserting their rights and dignity against systemic injustice have been brought down in a hail of bullets. Has nothing changed in our place, when its truth remains that the armed might of the state acts for the elite of powerful and wealthy, and against our people? No self-righteous declarations of 'tragedy'; no insisting on 'complexity'; no obfuscatory 'commissions of enquiry'; are enough to hide that truth. The truth is plain to masses of the people of South Africa, it is an affront to God.

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Churches & the Organised Poor

Churches & the Organised Poor

By Thina Khanyile, IUM-SiCiLi Barefoot Consultation, Pretoria, 28 August 2012

Abahlali baseMjondolo is an egalitarian and democratic organisation of the poor. It is dedicated to the self-improvement and self-education of people who have been made poor by an unjust economic system. We organise ourselves to be able to discuss and understand our situation better and to be able to struggle for justice.

AbM is not a political party. We are a an independent poor people's organisation. We accept people regardless of the political parties that they are coming from but we keep party politics out of the movement and all our leaders must agree to remain independent from all political parties.

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Marikana Massacre Memorial Service

23 August 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

Marikana Massacre Memorial Service

Abahlali baseMjondolo has held a number of serious discussions about the Marikana Massacre within our movement and with our comrades. It has also been very important for Abahlali to send a delegate straight to Marikana in the North West province to meet directly with striking workers and struggling residents of the Wonderkop shack settlement. We, together with the Unemployed People's Movement, were also able to send two delegates to the meeting held to discuss the massacre at the University of Johannesburg last night. We wish to set the record straight and to say clearly that the account of what has happened that has been given in the media has mostly come from the state. The views and experiences of the striking workers and struggling residents of Marikana has been silenced. It is essential that the media must talk to the striking workers and struggling residents of Marikana and not just about them.

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Marikana Shows that we are Living in a Democratic Prison

Marikana shows that we are Living in a Democratic Prison

by Bandile Mdlalose

South Africa has the most beautiful Constitution amongst all countries. Its beauty is well documented and respected. But we are living in a Democratic Prison.

We must acknowledge the fight of Doctor Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and the community struggles of the 1980s, the youth of 1976 and the workers of 1973. The struggles of the past defeated the White Boers and brought us democracy with all these beautiful rights on paper. We have so many documented rights, like the right to housing and to protest. But every day our rights are violated by the Black Boers. They vowed to protect our rights but the vow was a fake vow.

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The Marikana Mine Worker’s Massacre – a Massive Escalation in the War on the Poor

Klicken Sie hier für den deutschen text.

8 August 2012

The Marikana Mine Worker's Massacre – a Massive Escalation in the War on the Poor

by Ayanda Kota

It’s now two days after the brutal, heartless and merciless cold blood bath of 45 Marikana mine workers by the South African Police Services. This was a massacre!

South Africa is the most unequal country in the world. The amount of poverty is excessive. In every township there are shacks with no sanitation and electricity. Unemployment is hovering around 40%. Economic inequality is matched with political inequality. Everywhere activists are facing serious repression from the police and from local party structures.

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Solidarity with Mine Workers at Marikana Platinum

Bu makaleyi Türkçe okumak için buraya tiklayin.
Klicken Sie hier für den deutschen text.

17 August 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

Solidarity with Mine Workers at Marikana Platinum

Abahlali baseMjondolo are deeply shocked by the murderous cruelty of the South African police, and those that give the police their orders, at the Marikana Platinum Mine in the North West. The killing of more than 40 mine workers yesterday by the SAPS is immoral and brings great disgrace on our country. There were other ways and much better ways to handle the situation. Yesterday will always be remembered as a dark day in the long history of oppression in South Africa.

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Celebrating the Power of Organised Women

Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League Press Statement.
16 August 2012

Celebrating the Power of Organised Women

The Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League will be commemorating women’s month on the 18 August 2012 at the New Center Sports Ground in Newlands West. The Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League started on the 09 August 2008, after the formation of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A, which was in October 2005.

The Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement was formed to bring back the dignity of the shackdwllers as we know that the shackdwllers are taken like people who can’t think and who don’t count in the society. We only count when it’s time to vote. The Abahlali baseMjondolo women’s league was started to build the power of women (izimbokodo) in the struggle, in our communities and in the society. So as the women who are living in the shacks we will use this day to bring back the dignity to the women from the shack settlements and to encourage them to fight the following:

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Open Letter: ‘Langa housing projects a mess of corruption and mismanagement’

'Langa housing projects a mess of corruption and mismanagement'

To MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikiza
To Operations Manager of the N2 Gateway project for HDA, Bosco Khoza
To Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille

Attached you will find a letter from the provincial executive of Abahlali baseMjondolo detailing some of our concerns and grievances. The situation in Langa is a ticking time-bomb. We hope that you will come meet with us as soon as possible to address them rather than pass the buck to someone else.

Forward with the struggle of the poor, forward!

Thembelani Maqwazima (AbM General Secretary) @ 0712604119

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Two Arrests Made in Connection with the Shootings in Umlazi, Further Threats to Bheki Buthelezi

Monday, 13 August 2012
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

Two Arrests Made in Connection with the Shootings in Umlazi, Further Threats to Bheki Buthelezi

On the 30th June Bhekimuzi Ndlovu was shot in the Zakheleni shack settlement following a series of protests against the Ward Councillor and for land, housing and other development. The case number is 225/07/2012.

Ndlovu had become close to Bheki Buthelezi and to the struggle that was being organised in the Zakheleni shack settlement. However he had been close to the local ANC and the councillor and so they saw him as a traitor. He was shot by supporters of the ruling party. They sacrificed him, like an animal. They thought that he was dead. After Ndlovu was shot the ANC supporters convened a meeting and said that Bheki Buthelezi was the one who had shot Ndlovu. It has become a typical tactic of repression for the ruling party to engage in violence against activists and to then blame the activists for this violence. However unbeknownst to the local ANC Ndlovu had survived the shooting and was in hospital.

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The Struggle to Affirm the Dignity of the Poor in a Society in which we don’t Count

The Struggle to Affirm the Dignity of the Poor in a Society in which we don’t Count

by S’bu Zikode, Presented in Mexico City on 6th August 2012

Before Abahlali baseMjondolo was formed the shack dwellers in South Africa were considered by government and some other people in our society to be the undeserving poor. This claim came as the result of the perception that the poor are lazy, uneducated and people who do not think and therefore do not count the same as other human beings. The general public, civil society and the media could not defend the poor against this indignity. The media had little or nothing to report on anything that surrounds shack dwellers, be it good or bad, that considered us as human beings or citizens. We were mostly seen as a threat to society – as a problem to be controlled. When shacks were on fire radios and televisions would not air or broadcast this. On the other side the state would refuse any provision of basic services to the shack settlements or to engage us as citizens. We have always been considered as people who cannot think for ourselves. Someone from somewhere else would always be hired and paid to think for us, to represent us and to take decisions on our behalf. This has been the state mentality towards the poor. It has also been the mentality of most NGOs and of most of civil society. It has also been the mentality of what we have called the regressive left – that part of the left that thinks that its job is to think for the poor rather than with the poor. The rights that we have on paper were always refused in reality. This included our rights as citizens and our rights to the cities. Whenever we asked for our rights to be respected, for our humanity to be recognized, we were presented as troublemakers, as people that were being used by others, or as criminals. Our request to participate in the discussions about our own lives was taken as a threat.

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Ward 88 BEC Refuses to Go to the People

26 July 2012
Combined AbM & UPM Press Statement

Ward 88 BEC Refuses to Go to the People

For the past months the organised poor in Ward 88 in Durban have been fighting for their rights, and the resignation of Nomzamo Mkhize who is the current ANC Ward Councillor.

Their struggle has led to activists being arrested, shot at with real bullets by the police and threats and an assault at the hands of the councillor. Despite all these violations of their right to participate in decision making that directly affects them the activists in Ward 88 did not give up and have shown that they are prepared to continue their fight for justice and their human dignity to be installed.

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M&G: Darkness visible in JZ’s kingdom by the sea

http://mg.co.za/article/2012-07-19-darkness-visible-in-jacob-zumas-kingdom-by-the-sea

Darkness visible in JZ's kingdom by the sea

by Niren Tolsi

With the African National Congress beset by factionalism, is the province still 100% Jacob Zuma? Niren Tolsi investigates.

"Wherever I go I carry a gun these days," a longtime ANC member from the eThekwini region in KwaZulu-Natal said, "not because I am afraid of thugs or political opposition, but because I am afraid of my own."

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Update from Umlazi: Zwelethu Train Station Shut Down & Protest at the Police Station

18 July 2012
Combined UPM & AbM Press Statement

Update from Umlazi: Zwelethu Train Station Shut Down & Protest at the Police Station

At around 4:00 a.m. yesterday morning activists involved in the Umlazi Occupation and the ward 88 struggle closed down the Zwelethu Train Station. This action was in protest at the failure of the police to arrest the ward councillor, Nomzamo Mkhize, after she and her son assaulted an activist.

There was a stand-off between activists and the police at the train station following which the general secretary of the BEC of the local ANC branch, Sandile, tried to arrange an urgent meeting with Nigel Gumede. A meeting with Gumede has always been one of the demands of the Umlazi Occupation.

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Assault & Intimidation of Action by Umlazi Councillor

16 July 2012
Combined UPM & AbM Press Statement

ASSAULT AND INTIMIDATION OF ACTION BY UMLAZI COUNCILLOR

Yesterday at around 14:00 pm there was a mass gathering of the continuous occupation that is happening in the People's Office that has been set up next to the Councillor's Office, in Ward 88, Umlazi.

A report was given on how the struggle of Umlazi started and how it got the attention of the Branch Executive Committee (BEC) which had come with lot of promises like getting what the community have demanded from them which was a meeting with Nigel Gumede, the Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure also Willies Mchunu, the MEC of Safety and Community. The meeting of delivering by the BEC sat on Wednesday (04th of July) unfortunately they delivered nothing that was expected and which they had promised. Neither Gumede or Mchunu attended the meeting and the BEC offered nothing but sweet talk.

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Thandeka, who suffers from epileptic seizures, illegally evicted from her home in Langa TRA by our corrupt committee

16 July 2012
Abahlali baseKwaLanga

Thandeka, who suffers from epileptic seizures, illegally evicted from her home in Langa TRA by our corrupt committee

This is the story of Thandeka Ngcelwane who, last week, was allocated No.59, a government built shack in Langa Temporary Relocation Area. However, while she was away from her new home for a few hours to visit her brother, the TRA committee headed by Zukisani Sibunzi broke the lock on her door and put someone else in the home. When she returned she found a lady in her home and her belongings removed – Thandeka had been illegally evicted from her home and, since her old shack in Joe Slovo was now demolished, she was left with nowhere else to go.

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The Organized Poor and Law as a Tool for Social Change

12 July 2012
Wits Public Interest Law Gathering

The Organized Poor and Law as a Tool for Social Change

by S'bu Zikode

It gives me a great honor to be invited to participate in the Wits Public Interest Law Gathering. I wish to thank SERI for the invitation.

It has always been clear to us that there can only be laws and policies that take the lives of poor people seriously when the poor have built our own power in the society. It has also always been clear to us that the political will to implement progressive laws and policies will only be there if the poor remain permanently organized and strong.

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Puntan’s Hill Shack Dwellers Blockade Umgeni Road

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
12 July 2012

Puntan's Hill Shack Dwellers Blockade Umgeni Road

At around 3 a.m. this morning angry residents of the Puntan's Hill shack settlement blocked Umgeni Road with tyres in protest at their dissatisfaction with Cllr. Bhekisani Ngcobo. When Ngcobo was mobilising for votes he promised them that as soon as he takes office as a councillor he would electrify their shacks. The shacks have never been electrified and last week someone was killed while trying to make a self-organised connection.

Ngcobo has not kept any of his promises. The community have tried several times to talk to him but he has neglected them and ignored their demand. Once more the poor have been used as ladders by politicians. This is why they decided to block the road this morning.

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Abahlali rises up to stop corruption and forced removals in Langa TRA

Abahlali baseLanga TRA – 5 July 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape Press Statement

Abahlali rises up to stop corruption and forced removals in Langa TRA

Yesterday, Abahlali baseMjondolo youth took physical action to block the Housing Development Agency from moving residents of Joe Slovo Informal Settlement into Langa Temporary Relocation Area calling the process corrupt and at the expense of current residents of the TRA.

 

 




 

 

The SANCO aligned TRA committee is selling TRA structures and houses with the tacit support of the HDA. Many of the current residents of the TRA have also been pushed off the housing lists and large-extended families are being counted as single families and therefore slated for eviction from the TRA once their relatives are allocated homes.

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Occupy Umlazi!

Thursday, 05 July 2012
Combined Abahlali baseMjondolo & Unemployed People’s Movement Statement

Occupy Umlazi!

The meeting between senior ANC representatives and representatives from the shacks in Ward 88, Umlazi, was supposed to start at 3:00 p.m. It ended up starting at 5:00 p.m. None of the senior ANC people that were expected pitched up. Only the ANC regional representatives came.

The ANC said that they needed a tangible reasone why the community representatives needed to see MEC Willies Mchunu. This was so clumsy! What could be more tangible than the fact that people are currently in hospital due to police brutality and shootings. They could also not give any good reason why Nigel Gumede was not at the meeting. They did not do what they had promised to do.

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God in My Struggle

GOD IN MY STRUGGLE

I’m proud to be in an organization that fights for, protects, promotes and advances the dignity of the poor.

Our struggle is a struggle for respect which puts people first and is people driven. I’ve lately looked at how God plays a huge role in my struggle. If it wasn’t for God we wouldn’t be were we are today. It is true that God is always on the side of the poor.

Today we have bruises and scars from our fight for Human Dignity. Our government does not believe that the poor people’s dignity needs to be respected. If the government recognised our dignity we would be living an equal life. The fact that there is a huge difference between how the poor and the rich live and are treated shows that the government does not recognise us because we don’t have money.

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Huge Police Raid on Bheki Buthelezi’s Shack

30 June 2012
AbM & UPM Press Statement

Update on Repression & Resistance in the Zakheleni Shack Settlement, Ward 88, Umlazi, Durban

At around 4:00 a.m. this morning a group of around 50 heavily armed police officers arrived at Bheki Buthelezi's shack in the Zakheleni shack settlement in Umlazi and demanded to search it. When confronted with the fact that they did not have a warrant they retired and then returned at around 4:50 with a document stating that they had a warrant to search the entire settlement. But they only searched Bheki's shack. They found nothing. During the search a helicopter with a search light hovered over the settlement. Ten activists, all of whom have become leaders in the rebellion in Ward 88, and all of whom have been warned that the police and local party leaders after after them, slipped away during the police raid and are now in hiding.

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Jadhu Place on Fire Again

27 June 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Jadhu Place on Fire Again

Abahlali baseMjondo’s ongoing struggle for land and decent housing for all shack dwellers and other poor people remains the most urgent demand.

This is the season of fire, the season of shack fires, the season of great humiliation and despair, the deadly season. Those who have always criticized the victims of the shack fires as drunkards, unthinking and thieves of electricity would be blind not to understand the truth and the politic of shack fires. We burn, year after year, because we are denied electricity and because we are denied decent housing. When we carefully connect ourselves to electricity the state sends armed men to disconnect us. When we formalise our own shacks the state sends armed men to demolish them. We are forced, sometimes at gun point, to live as we do.

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Update from Ward 88 in Umlazi, Durban

Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement

Update from Ward 88 in Umlazi, Durban

In all the confusion and urgency last night it was impossible to meet and prepare a clear statement explaining events. We are now in a position to do so.

 

 




Noxolo Mkwayi was shot in her bed in Zakheleni

 

 

Yesterday the Unemployed People’s Movement called a meeting in Ward 88, Umlazi. At this meeting it was resolved to stage a peaceful occupation of the Ward Councillor’s offices. The offices were duly occupied and commissions were then set up to hold discussions on various matters. There was a commission on unemployment, on housing and on safety (crime and shack fires).

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Charges Against Bheki Buthelezi Withdrawn & the Zakheleni 18 Released

25 June 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo & Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement

Charges Against Bheki Buthelezi Withdrawn & the Zakheleni 18 Released

Today all charges against Bheki Buthelezi were dropped and the Zakheleni 18 were released on free bail at the Umlazi Magistrate's Court. It is clear that the arrest of the 18 was politically engineered. The arrestees clearly stated in court that they don’t know the reason why they were arrested. As the magistrate asked them why they were arrested they said they had no idea and that they were just having drinks with friends on a Saturday evening when the police simply came and arrested them. The 18 were released on free bail with the understanding that the police have no evidence against any of the accused, that they were not involved in any violence and they are all poor and unemployed.

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Another 18 People Arrested in Umlazi, Durban

Update – 25 June 3:30 p.m. The charges against Bheki Buthelezi have been dropped and the Zakheleni 18 have been released without bail. They are scheduled to appear again on the 16th of July.

24 June 2012
Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement

Another 18 People Arrested in Umlazi, Durban

Last night when the comrades from Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Unemployed People's Movement were protesting outside the Umlazi Police Station to demand the immediate release of Bheki Buthelezi the police said that they would be making further arrests to 'stop the burning of tyres in Umlazi'. They made the same threat to Bheki as he was released at the Adam's Mission Police Station far from the protest.

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Bheki Buthelezi Still in Custody – Very, Very Tense Situation at the Umlazi Police Station

Update: After sustained pressure, and a tense stand-off outside the Umlazi police station, Bheki Buthelezi was finally released just after 7 p.m.

18:27 23 June 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Emergency Press Statement

Unemployed People's Movement (UPM) activist Bheki Buthelezi was arrested at his home in Umlazi early this morning. Activists from the UPM and Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) immediately made their way to the Umlazi police station to demand his release.

The police have been playing ducks and drakes with the protesters at the police station all day. At first they said that Bheki would be released by 2, then at 2 they said that the protesters need a lawyer to get Bheki out. After tense negotiations R500 bail has been paid but now the police are saying that they don't have bail forms and that these have to be fetched from the Isipingo

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Bheki Buthelezi Arrested in Durban This Morning

23 June 2012
Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement

Bheki Buthelezi Arrested in Durban This Morning

Bheki Buthelezi, from the Durban branch of the Unemployed People's Movement, was arrested at his home at around 6 this morning. His arrest follows a long struggle by the community in Ward 88 in Umlazi. There have been a number of protests in the area, including road blockades, which culminated in a large march on 8 June 2012.

People have been struggling for housing, electricity and water and against an unresponsive councillor and for participatory development. Even the ANC members in the ward don't want this councillor. The situation with the water is particularly serious as people are being forced to drink from polluted streams.

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M&G: 200 Young South Africans – Bandile Mdlalose

http://ysa2012.mg.co.za/bandile-mdlalose/

200 Young South Africans – Bandile Mdlalose

Bandile Mdlalose
Secretary general: Abahlali baseMjondolo

For Bandile Mdlalose and over 12-million people living in shacks, the struggle is far from over. With forced evictions, zero service delivery and removals to out-of-sight “transit” camps, they are still not free. Courageous, eloquent, compassionate, 26-year-old Mdlalose is a bona fide freedom fighter.

After enduring political, then criminal violence in townships like KwaMashu, living in dark, inescapable poverty left her feeling powerless. She joined Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), the shack- dwellers’ movement, in 2009, to use her voice as her vote.

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Why Are We Still Living the Apartheid Life?

Why Are We Still Living the Apartheid Life?

I sit back and fail to understand why there are people still staying in shacks. I fail to understand why there is so much separation in this country, why there are areas for the rich and the poor. I fail to understand why we are still living the same way that we lived in the times of the apartheid era. I fail to understand why out of all the things that we said we would have from democracy we can only point to and feel so few of them. Is this what Mandela stayed 27 years for in prison? Is that what so many people struggled for in the trade unions and in the UDF?

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Youth Day 2012 Event

Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League Youth Day 2012 Event

The nation will be commemorating the Youth Day on 16 June. This always gives us a
problem as the fact is that the majority of the people that are unemployed are
under 35 years. This is the reality of the youth. The youth of today is engaged in
drugs and early pregnancy. Some of them it’s not that they are willing, but since they
have nothing to do, they find themselves lacking things to do and end up in all
these temptations.

It’s always a concern us as the youth that are in the informal settlements,
looking at our fellow youth that are in jails and that are also in drugs.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo to March in Umlazi Tomorrow

07 June 2012
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo to March in Umlazi Tomorrow

It time for the politicians to keep their promises, we are tired of being lied to and being misled

For so long the people from the shacks have been living under threatening situations yet we get no support from the government. We ask for freedom from evictions, services in the settlements and participatory upgrades and instead we are denied services, evicted and either ignored or repressed.

When we first started to organise in 2005 it was said that the government had a plan to house all the people and that we must be the 'third force' because we had no real reason to protest. They said that there would be no more shacks in Durban by 2010. Now the Municipality has admitted that it will take them 82 years to house all the people currently waiting for houses in Durban! That means that if things stay the same most of us will spend out lives rotting in the shacks and we will die in the shacks.

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Padkos: S’bu Zikode & Marie Huchzermeyer to Speak at CLP on 22 June

PADKOS

Wednesday 06 June 2012

Hear S'bu Zikode (Abahlali baseMjondolo),
Marie Huchzermeyer (Wits University) and
Live Music with Nosihe and the Afrocentrics!
Date: 22 June
Time: starting at 13.00
Venue: Church Land Programme offices, 340 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg
RSVP: Cindy (email: cindy@churchland.org.za or tel: 033 2644 380)

Church Land Programme is honoured to host two of this country's leading experts on the politics of urban housing and land.

Zikode, chairperson of the South African shack-dweller movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, is widely acknowledged for his courageous articulation of a 'living politics' that emerged from within the thought and struggles of shackdwellers. S'bu will speak to a recent short paper he was asked to prepare on “Rethinking the State's Housing Programme” (at: http://abahlali.org/?p=8807). He argues that “[t]here will only be laws and policies that take the lives of poor people seriously when the poor have built our own power in society. … To solve our problems we would have to somehow think about a society driven economy, that is an economy designed and led by people”.

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Rethinking the State’s Housing Programme

17 May 2012

Rethinking the State's Housing Programme: Finding a sustainable and responsive solution to the need for adequate shelter and the right to the city

by S'bu Zikode

I wish to submit and insist that it will be disastrous to commit our contributions to economic growth instead of social growth and the development of the poor. The problem with this is that economic growth for the rich often does not help the poor – sometimes it happens by oppressing the poor. We cannot continue to support the rich to get richer while the poor are getting poorer in the hope that one day the poor will also get some of this wealth. We have to start with the urgent needs of the poor – with the urgent needs that people have today.

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City Press: A David and Goliath tale

Dear Mandela will be screened on the Mzansi Magic Channel at 3 p.m. on (un)Freedom Day, 27 April 2012

http://www.citypress.co.za/Entertainment/News/A-David-and-Goliath-tale-20120424

A David and Goliath tale

by Charl Blignaut

I’ll confess that I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to watch the documentary Dear Mandela if it hadn’t been nominated for an African Movie Academy Award.

I’ve sort of had my fill of Mandela-themed work and I took it to be another totally relevant exposé of injustice that leaves you feeling more depressed than the prime-time news.

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Unfreedom Day March – 27 April 2012

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Unfreedom Day March – 27 April 2012

Friday is freedom day. This means that the time for annual lies to our democracy has come. The time to pretend that democracy and freedom came to everyone in 1994 has come. The time to escort tender entrepreneurs, their families and friends to the big stadiums has come. The time for the rich and powerful to take their platforms in those stadiums to tell the shack dwellers and other poor people that we are all free has come.

But winter is also here and once again the poor are burning. Kennedy Road has burnt. Jadhu Place has burnt. There will be many more fires before winter has passed. What kind of government leaves people to burn year after year? What kind of government rushes to tell the media, year after year, that fires are caused by ‘illegal electricity connections’ when we all know that it is candles and paraffin stoves that cause most fires? What kind of government wants to blame the poor for their suffering? What kind of government tries to depoliticise poverty by treating the poor as ignorant and criminal when in fact our problem is that we are oppressed?

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‘This is how we do it’

'This is how we do it’
21 April 2012

Speech by Comrade Mzwakhe Mdlalose, delivered at The Foundry Theater, New York City

I wish to thank The Foundry Theatre for giving me this opportunity to share Abahlali‘s gift and contribution to our world. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, (the Shack dwellers Movement), the movement that has entrusted me with its mandate to share with you how shack dwellers in post-apartheid South Africa have struggled to survive neoliberalism which is a very modern kind of new apartheid. In this new form of apartheid we are still divided into those that count and those that do not, those who can live in the cities and those that cannot, those that are allowed to speak and those that are not, those that must burn and those that are safe.

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Our Aims Will Never Be the Same

Our Aims Will Never Be the Same

by Lindela Figlan

People are born not the same and they will die not the same. Although people got united to achieve one goal, which is an equal and democratic society, the gap between the haves and the have nots is not fading away. In fact it is growing.

People got united and we thought that we had the same purpose and aim but for sure there are some for whom their intentions were to make sure that their own plans are achieved. Those with their own intentions are not here to sustain what is making the people to be together. But on the other hand some are working tirelessly without even noticing that there is a wolf that is also waiting tirelessly and patiently for good results so that it can seize the victories for itself. People pretended as if they were freedom fights while they were freedom robbers. They were wolves wearing the attire of the Freedom Charter and so we thought that they were lambs. But no where are they? Some come rushing past us in their blue light convoys. We see some of them in expensive hospitals and in places like Qalakabusha waiting to restart their plans to destroy this country.

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Collectivism vs. Individualism

19 April 2012.
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement Press Statement

Collectivism vs. Individualism

When our movement was started none of us knew that Abahlali would continue to grow and to become strong enough to be able to tackle issues of national interest. Abahlali like most social movements continues to face state repression, NGO repression, and repression from left academics who still believe that it is their duty to think, represent, and take decisions for the poor. We continue to resist all this pressure to accept that our place is in the shacks and nowhere else. We continue to voice our anger and our frustrations from the dark and confined corners of our universe. We also continue to take our place in our society. We occupy land and we occupy spaces in the media and in public discussions. Sometimes it is not easy. Sometimes it is dangerous. But when it is possible it is possible because we work together. If you are poor your strength can only come from your togetherness. That is all that you have. Without it you are isolated and vulnerable to all kinds of attack. This is why the philosophy of ubuhlali is a philosophy of collectivity and why we work so hard to prevent our movement from collapsing into individualism.

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Abahlali Members who were Displaced in September 2009 Still Homeless

Monday, 12 March 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali Members who were Displaced in September 2009 Still Homeless

Two weeks ago IFP members fought with NFP members at Hostel 17 in Umlazi Township. That political violence left one person dead and it left some people homeless. The Minister of Safety and Security intervened to mediate between the two parties that were fighting. This is very good and is something which we welcome. We also acknowledge that the new Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality took the Umlazi violence into his attention and is working on it. However this activism of the Minister and the Mayor is raising so many questions.

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eThekwini Municipality Disobeys Court Order to Provide Housing and Investigate Corruption

Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) and Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)

PRESS RELEASE – 29 February 2012

eThekwini Municipality Disobeys Court Order to Provide Housing and Investigate Corruption

Residents go back to court to compel Mayor, City Manager and Director of Housing to provide houses or be held in contempt

In 2009, 37 poor families won the right to receive permanent houses in terms of an order issued by the Durban High Court. The families must now return to court to force the eThekwini Municipality to obey the order. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) and Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) are suing the Mayor of eThekwini on behalf the families, who now live in the Richmond Farm Transit Camp near KwaMashu, Durban.

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A Fish in a Tin

EVICTIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA – (DEAR MANDELA companion video) from Sleeping Giant on Vimeo.

http://dearmandela.com/?q=node/76

Short Film: A FISH IN A TIN
February 28, 2012 – 10:26pm

LAWYERS PUSH FOR EVICTED RESIDENTS' RIGHTS TO BE RESPECTED

In 2009, we filmed with a community who had recently been evicted from the Siyanda informal settlement in order to allow for the construction of a road. One of the conditions of the eviction order was that the occupiers would be provided with permanent housing within a year. The deadline for doing so expired almost two years ago and nothing has been done to comply with the order.

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Shallcross March Called Off Due to Death Threats from the Local Councillor and ANC Members

22 February 2012
Unemployed People's Society Press Statement

Shallcross March Called Off Due to Death Threats from the Local Councillor and ANC Members

Yesterday the Unemployed People's Society had to take the difficult decision to call off the march that we had planned against housing corruption in Shallcross. The night before the march was due to take place the Ward 17 Councillor and a number of local ANC members moved around the area with whistles. They issued clear threats stating that anyone who goes on this march will be killed.

The next morning Ms N.E. Shazi, the organisation's co-ordinator, woke to found that a large amount of blood had been poured on her gate.

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March Against Housing Corruption in Shallcross

20 February 2012
Unemployed People's Society Press Statement

March Against Housing Corruption in Shallcross

The Unemployed People's Society has, together with Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A. and SANCO, been approached by the victims of the Savanna Park project and the Inkanyezi housing Project.

The Unemployed People’s Society will be marching to the Durban City Hall to demand an end to housing corruption in these housing projects such as Inkanyezi and Mawelewele, to demand road access and to oppose lazy and brutal police officials and the lack of services.

The march will start at King Dinuzulu Park (Botha Park) at 9:00am tomorrow – Tuesday, 21 February 2012. The memorandum will be handed over to the new eThekwini Municipal Manager Mr. Sibusiso Sithole, the Minister of Transport Mr. S’bu Ndebele and the Minister of Police Mr. Nathi Mthethwa. It will finished at 12 noon.

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The Interim Order Against the Shallcross Occupation has been Set Aside

27 January 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The Interim Eviction Order Against the Shallcross Occupation has been Set Aside

The interim eviction order granted by the Durban High Court to evict residents of Shallcross (Ekuphumeleleni, Inkanyezi Housing Project) was set aside this morning. The High Court has ordered the eThekwini Municipality to stop any further eviction of residents pending the 24th of February 2012 on which date this matter has to return in court. In the meantime the evicted residents have returned to their homes for the second time.

Abahlali wishes to express its disappointment at the fact that the attorneys that South African Nation Civic Organization (SANCO) has promised its members in the area since December did not pitch up in court. This was despite insistence of the SANCO leadership last night that they have lawyers which mislead the community. However Abahlali wish to thank its Legal Team – Nichols Attorneys with the support of SERI – for being able to represent the residents and for doing such a good job.

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Shallcross: The Tyres are Burning

Shallcross: The Tyres are Burning

Yesterday 120 families were violently evicted from incompletely built and then
abandoned RDP houses in Shallcross. They had occupied these houses after people
with papers to show that they had been given houses were left in shacks as
their houses were corruptly given to others who were paying for them. Eight of
the 120 families are AbM members.

Last night the evicted families reoccupied the houses. Now the police are back.
The tyres are burning. The media are urged to rush to the scene.

Contact:

Lucia: 084 635 0293
Lungi: 078 622 6999

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Occupiers Currently Under Police Attack in Shallcross

25 January 2012
An urgent call for media intervention
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Occupiers Currently Under Police Attack in Shallcross

The eKuphumeleni Abahlali branch in Shallcross, in ward 17 under Councillor Shembe Nomvula (073 782 7358), is currently under attack and eviction from the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Everybody know that housing is a crisis in South Africa particularly in Durban where we just heard that at least R532 million has gone missing from the municipal housing budget. The Auditor General has just realized a report about corruption, mismanagement of funds and irregularities and as far as the supply chain management is concerned.

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Release Ayanda Kota Now!!!

Update: Ayanda Kota was released at 14:45 this afternoon on a bail of R500. There were visible marks from the assault on his head, arms, chest and back. His clothes were torn and blood stained. He will be laying criminal and civil charges against the officers who assaulted him.

The original UPM statement is here, the SSJ statement is here, the DLF statement is here and the Mandela Park Backyarder's Statement is here.

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Ayanda Kota Assaulted in the Grahamstown Police Station – Under Arrest

12 January 2011
Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement

Ayanda Kota Assaulted in the Grahamstown Police Station – Under Arrest

About 40 minutes ago Ayanda Kota was seriously assaulted by a group of police officers in the Grahamstown police station. He was dragged, bleeding from at least two wounds, and with his clothes torn from his body, to the holding cells.

 

 




 

 

For some months he has been under open police surveillance and at times has been threatened and insulted by the police. The police have been watching his mother's house and have searched it looking for him. Their behaviour has been very rude, threatening and aggressive.

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Global Call-In and Solidarity Actions for Evicted KwaMashu Community

Global Call-In and Solidarity Actions for Evicted KwaMashu Community

For Immediate Release
7 January 2012

GLOBAL SOLIDARITY ACTIONS FOR KWAMASHU COMMUNITY DISPLACED BY COP17
Activists from Around the World Call Councillor Lucky Mdlalose of KwaMashu

 




Activists Gather in front of the South African Embassy in London with images of some of the evicted community members from KwaMashu. Photo by Anna Collins Continue reading

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Comrade Zulu R.I.P.


Comrade Zulu from the Landless People’s Movement in Thembelihle has passed away. He was a brave and highly respected comrade. The funeral will be this Thursday. Lala Ngoxolo. Hamba kahle qhawe. Contact Maans van Wyk for details: 079 267 3203

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Terrible Shack Fire in Kennedy Road

Friday, December 23, 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Terrible Shack Fire in Kennedy Road

Last night, in the middle of the night, at about 00:28, a shack fire took place in Kennedy Road. About 300 shacks went to ashes and approximately 1500 people were left homeless.

 



Kennedy Road Burns Again

 

The reason of the fire is still unknown but it is suspected that a candle was left lighted. A small child at about the age of 2 years was badly injured and was rushed to a hospital. No one came to the scene aside from Abahlali baseMjondolo. What a shame it is when even the councillor himself doesn’t bother to come and see how the damage is. The community was hoping that their ward 25 councillor would come to see the damage and offer support. Their hopes were raised when they saw him coming with the Municipality cars. One of the cars was from Housing. But he did not even bother to consider coming to the place where there was this fire. He just ignored the people who had their hopes up and went straight to the hall and told the people that he was there to write the list of those who are suppose to get food vouchers for Christmas. In the past these vouchers have been abused for party political purposes.

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Thembinkosi Qumbela was Never an Umhlali

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA Press statement
18 December 2011

Thembinkosi Qumbela was Never an Umhlali`

On Thursday 15 December 2011 The Mercury published an article titled 'Senior IFP leader crossing to the ANC did not tell his party'. In this article Thembinkosi Qumbela, who was elected as the IFP regional deputy secretary two weeks ago and has now left the IFP to join the ANC, claims that he “had been an activist of Abahlali baseMjondolo” and has “decided to leave everything (IFP and Abahlali baseMjondolo) and return to the ANC. Anyone who is serious about being a politician should be with the ANC.”

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Umngeni Municipality Ordered to Provide Housing to Residents of Tumbleweed Shack Settlement

PRESS RELEASE: 12 December 2011

Issued by: Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement of SA

Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)

UMNGENI MUNICIPALITY ORDERED TO PROVIDE HOUSING TO RESIDENTS OF TUMBLEWEED INFORMAL SETTLEMENT

Council and residents agree on relocation plans

The Pietermaritzburg High Court today ordered uMngeni Municipality to provide land, water, sanitation and temporary housing to 47 families living in the Tumbleweed informal settlement near Howick, KwaZulu-Natal. The order was granted by agreement between the residents and the municipality after the municipality applied to evict the residents to make way for a new school.

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AGM and Campaign Against TRAs

9 December 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Press Statement

AGM and Campaign Against TRAs

Tomorrow Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape will hold our third annual general meeting and, at the same time, we will launch a campaign against the TRAs. The meeting will run from 11 till 2 at the Langa TRAs in Zone 27, Langa.

TRAs, known as transit camps in Durban and decant areas in Johannesburg, are unfit for human habitation. Our movement has always rejected them as inhuman and tomorrow residents of TRAs from around Cape Town will meet to speak out about their living conditions and against the TRAs. The corruption in the Langa TRAs will be noted and it will also be noted that people are always told that these places are 'temporary' but some people have been living in them for seven years now.

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Poor People’s Movements and the Law

Poor People’s Movements and the Law

by S'bu Zikode, Wits University, 2 December 2011

I wish to thank the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa for organising this seminar to discuss the law and social movements. I also wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, to extend our deepest gratitude to SERI for all the legal struggles they have shared with us in support of our right to organise for our rights to land and housing, our right to the cities and our right to human dignity.

Abahlali has a lot of experience to share on this important topic. It is true that in Abahlali we are working very hard to build the power of the poor from below. It is true that doing this through organising and mobilizing is not easy. It is also true that this kind of work needs a lot of popular education through a new spirit of Abahlalism. We need to build a spirit of political and economical consciousness through constant discussion and reflection on our situation and our struggle. A spirit that recognises that we are poor because we were made poor and that we must work hard to unite the poor in order to resist this poverty imposed on us. A spirit that we can win this battle against all forces that refuse us land and freedom, forces that want to keep us confined in the dark corners of our society.

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Floods, destruction and despair in the shacks

Update: The Arnett Drive settlement in Reservoir Hills and the Richmond Farm transit camp were also flooded and in KwaMashu sewer systems and a big pipe burst causing serious damage. People are protesting in a number of places in KwaMashu.

Monday, 28 November 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release

Floods, destruction and despair in the shacks

Abahlali welcomes the world in our country, our province and in our city. We also welcome progressive delegates to our homes, our settlements and our flooded shacks.

 




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Occupy Durban!

27 November 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

 


Occupy Durban!
Occupations Currently Underway in Hillary, KwaMashu and Pinetown

 

 



Occupy Hillary 28 November 2011

 

We are human beings, not dogs, and every human being has a right to a decent home and a right, if they choose, to a place in the city. Economic, political and legal systems that deny these rights are a threat to our humanity and must be resisted. There is enough money and space in this world for every person to have a decent home. The problem is that the money and space are being held by the few to exclude the many. If the few continue to exclude the many then it is our responsibility to ourselves, our families and our communities to resist this oppression.

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Nigel Gumede Must Go!



March to Demand that "Nigel Gumede Must Go" 24 November 2011

The permit for the march (a legal fiction in democratic South Africa that is a hangover from apartheid but something that the municipality illegally insists on) was denied but AbM marched anyway in defiance of this de facto ban on the march. With the COP 17 meeting coming up the police did not respond with violence and the march, of more than 3 000, proceeded peacefully in the pouring rain. The officials left the crowd standing in the rain and only came to accept the memorandum when there was a threat to occupy the City Hall.

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“Climate Change and global warming are perpetrated by the Capitalists to oppress the poor to make profit”

“Climate Change and global warming are perpetrated by the Capitalists to oppress the poor to make profit”

by Reverend Mavuso of the Rural Network

We are told that our world is at risk from global warming caused by the pollution of the capitalists over many years. These same capitalists have become rich by making the rest of us poor. We were forced off our land, forced to work in their mines, factories and homes and now we are told that there are no more jobs for us. We are left to rot. For us the world has been in crisis for a very long time.

We cannot be expected to pay the price for global warming. Many of us don’t even have electricity in our homes. The price for fixing global warming must be paid by those that have become rich while disrespecting and damaging this world that God created for all of us.

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March to Demand the Resignation of Nigel Gumede

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
23 November 2011

Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League March to Demand the Resignation of Nigel Gumede – Thursday 24 November 2011

After years of broken promises and intimidation protesters march to demand an end to Housing Chairperson's reign of disrespect

We are human beings, not dogs. Nigel Gumede treats us like dogs but we will defend our humanity.

The Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League has organised a march to demand the immediate removal of Nigel Gumede as the Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure for the eThekwini Municipality. People from more than 20 shack settlements in Durban as well as our comrades who are taxi workers, street traders, hostel dwellers, and others will march in solidarity with us on Thursday 24 November 2011. The march will leave Botha Park at 8. We will display the power of the people to show the weight of our demand that: Nigel Gumede must go!

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Dark corners of the state we’re in

Dark corners of the state we're in

Padkos from the Church Land Programme

Just after the attacks on Kennedy Road in 2009, S'bu Zikode, then President of the shack-dwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo said:

"This attack is an attempt to suppress the voice that has emerged from the dark corners of our country. That voice is the voice of ordinary poor people. This attack is an attempt to terrorise that voice back into the dark corners. It is an attempt to turn the frustration and anger of the poor onto the poor so that we will miss the real enemy….Our crime is a simple one. We are guilty of giving the poor the courage to organise the poor. We are guilty of trying to give ourselves human values. We are guilty of expressing our views. Those in power are determined not to take instruction from the poor. They are determined that the people shall not govern. What prospects are there for the rest of the country if the invasion of Kennedy Road is overlooked? … Our message to the movements, the academics, the churches and the human rights groups is this: We are calling for close and careful scrutiny into the nature of democracy in South Africa" (29th September 2009).

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The Cape Town Municipality Refused to Accept our Memorandum

PLEASE NOTE – OUR PROTEST WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THIS WEEK

TOMORROW THE 24TH WE WILL PROTEST IN FRONT OF PROVINCIAL INHUMAN SETTLEMENT DEPARTMENT AND FRIDAY IN FRONT OF PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE TIME WILL BE 12:30 TILL 13:30 AND OUR PROTEST WILL CONTINUE TILL WE GET WHAT WE WANT

 



Protest at the Cape Town civic centre – 23 November 2011

 

Today at 12:30 Abahlali baseMjondolo of Western Cape had a protest outside the Civic Centre offices of City of Cape Town, calling on Patricia De Lille to meet with our members without imposing any terms of engagement and demanding that such meeting should take place at Khayelitsha where our members are based and it should be open to everybody, and everybody should be allowed to voice out his/her views without any fear of favor or intimidation.

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Protest tomorrow the 23rd at Cape Town Civic centre

A CALL FOR MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT NOT STAGE MANAGED PR ENGAGEMENT

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape tomorrow will have a protest outside Civic Centre at 12h00 till 13h00 and submit a memorandum to Patricia de Lille, the Mayor of City of Cape town.

Tomorrows protest follows number of attempts by Abahlali baseMjondolo to secure open bublic meeting with the mayor of City of Cape town.
We have done our best as organization, trying to secure a meeting with the mayor of City of Cape Town, we have submitted number of writtern request to the office of the mayor asking the mayor to address our public meetings about issues that affects us direct such as floods, shackfires, water cut-offs and the role of law enforcement within our communities because many of our communities have been victimised by law enforcement through illegal demolitions.

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AbM Press Conference to Announce Mass Protest – 22 November, 10:00 a.m

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League to March to Demand the Immediate Removal of Nigel Gumede from Office

AbM Youth League to take to the streets and demand the removal of Nigel Gumede as Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure for eThekwini Municipality

WHAT: On Thursday, 24 November 2011, Abahlali baseMjondolo's Youth League will march to demand the immediate removal of Nigel Gumede as Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure for the eThekwini Municipality. This demand comes in the wake of threatening statements that have come from Gumede toward Abahlali baseMjondolo Chairperson, S'bu Zikode, and other members of Abahlali over the last two years. These statements by Gumede, especially in the context of the repression that AbM has faced, show that Gumede is a serious threat to democracy in Durban. Gumede's intimidation undermine our confidence in the official goodwill that will be needed to make the current negotiations

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March to Demand the Resignation of Nigel Gumede

Memorandum from Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement South Africa

DATE: 5 November 2011
RE: Call for the immediate removal of Nigel Gumede as Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure for eThekwini Municipality

 



March to Demand the Resignation of Nigel Gumede & the Right to Know – 5 November 2011

 

Today, Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is marching to urgently call for the immediate removal of Nigel Gumede as Chairperson of the Housing Portfolio Committee and Infrastructure for the eThekwini Municipality.

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Statement in Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement South Africa

Statement in Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement South Africa

We, the undersigned, activists, academics, organizers, and others, call for an end to the repression and intimidation of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) Movement South Africa. We stand in solidarity with this democratic membership based movement for justice that is led by and for poor people – people that have been structurally excluded from full and equal participation in South African democracy.

In recent years AbM leaders and members have been subjected to various forms of well documented repression and harassment at the hands of the state and the ruling party, including the violent attacks of 2009. We affirm that AbM has every right to demand decent and well located housing and the provision of decent services to shack settlements while awaiting homes and, also, to demand bottom up and democratic forms of development. We sign this statement to register clear opposition to the regressive forces in the government and the ruling party who have targeted AbM leaders in various ways since 2006 and who sought, in 2009, to destroy the movement wholesale.

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Bathi abayi ndawo abahlali basemjondolo

http://www.iol.co.za/isolezwe/bathi-abayi-ndawo-abahlali-basemjondolo-1.1161345

Bathi abayi ndawo abahlali basemjondolo

October 20 2011 at 01:32pm

BONISWA MOHALE

Bebedinwe begane unwabu abahlali basemijondolo yase-Emmaus, eWestmead, ngasePinetown izolo bemashela inkampani efuna basuke endaweni abakhe kuyo.

 

 




March on the Mahogany Ridge 2 Property Owners Association and in Defence of the eMmause Land Occupation, eMmause, Pinetown 19 October 2011


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Protest Today in Pinetown

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Abahlali baseMjondolo take to the Streets, demand end to vicious evictions in eMmause

South Africa’s largest social movement calls for respect, and the right to decent housing and safety

Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal

This morning, Abahlali baseMjondolo(AbM) members and allies will be joining a march from Shepstone Road to Tollage Road to call for an end to all demolitions and evictions in the eMmause community. Since late 2010, hundreds of people have had their shacks destroyed in Durban including some by the landlord, Mahogany Ridge 2 Property Owners Association. Hundreds more have been brutally evicted. The Mahogany Ridge 2 Property Owners Association is currently trying to evict people from a land occupation in eMmause. These actions by the landlord present a gross violation of people’s right to housing and safety. Today we are marching for land and housing in the cities.

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Statement on Threats Made to S’bu Zikode

Statement on Threats Made to S'bu Zikode

When we heard that eThekweni Mayor, James Nxumalo, agreed to meet with a delegation from the shackdwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), we were hopeful that a new page was being turned. Perhaps now there can be meaningful engagement between the organised poor and the City of Durban.

But if there is to be real progress, then the actions of Nigel Gumede (Chairperson of the Housing and Infrastructure Portfolio Committee) in that meeting must be condemned. Gumede made angry and violent threats against S'bu Zikode, AbM Chairperson. We must insist that for genuine partnership to be built, it must be on the basis of respect for all people. The fragile prospects of new beginnings in Durban cannot be undermined by Gumede's ongoing hostility and disrespect. This sort of behaviour cannot be allowed to impede the full flowering of our democracy.

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“We are all S’bu Zikode”

Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

“We are all S’bu Zikode”

Abahlali baseMjondolo is a movement of the poor that struggles to protect, promote and advance the dignity of the poor in South Africa. One of our roles is to bring the government to the people and the people to the government.

We have marched to take our demands to councillors, mayors, premiers and the president. We have had many meetings but in Durban, the city where our movement was founded six years ago, we have never, despite all the marches, ever had a meeting with the mayor to discuss our demands.

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Isolezwe: ‘Sizokwenza iTheku lingalawuleki’

http://www.iol.co.za/isolezwe/sizokwenza-itheku-lingalawuleki-1.1155635

‘Sizokwenza iTheku lingalawuleki’

October 12 2011 at 11:10am
By BONISWA MOHALE

 



AMALUNGU enhlangano Abahlali baseMjondolo oMzwakhe Mdlalose, Lindela Figlan, Sbu Zikode, Mazwi Nzimande, Zandile Nsibande noBandile Mdlalose Isithombe: SITHUNYELWE

 

ABAHLALI baseMjondolo sebesabise ngokuthi bazokwenza iTheku lingalawuleki emuva kokuba iMeya, uMnuz James Nxumalo, ehoxise umhlangano obekumele abe nawo nobuholi bale nhlangano.

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Protest Happening Now at Kennedy Road

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Abahlali baseMjondolo have started shacking

On Tuesday, 10 October 2011 at 10:00am in our office we held a press conference
were we said that if the Councillors, Mayors, and all sorts of government do
not meet with the people on the grassroots and have a collective decision
making then we will be unable to stop the anger of the people.

While we were still having the conference the Siyanda ward 41 councillor, Mr
Lucky Mdlalose, was busy employing his own friends to work in the community.
This this resulted in the anger of the community mobilizing them to stop the

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Climate Change and Poor People’s Struggles

October 2011

Climate Change and Poor People's Struggles

Bandile Mdlalose

I wish to thank the World Development Movement for inviting me to speak about Climate Change and how the Abahlali baseMjondolo experience relates to this important topic. I also wish to thank Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A, the movement that I’m part of, for trusting me with the responsibility to represent it here today. I have come here with a clear mandate to speak about the political challenges of linking different kinds of crisis together and to meet with poor people's organisations here in England, like the London Coalition Against Poverty, as well as our many comrades in London. I will report back on all the meetings here to my comrades in South Africa.

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New eThekwini Mayor Disrespects the Shack Dwellers

Friday, 7 October 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

New eThekwini Mayor Disrespects the Shack Dwellers

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA is very disappointed by the new mayor’s disrespect for the shack dwellers. The hope that we had that the new mayor would be different to the last mayor has been dashed. Obed Mlaba was never prepared to meet with us. He had many things to say about us but he would never meet with us. James Nxumalo, the new mayor, agreed to meet with us in September and the meeting was confirmed to be held yesterday on the 6th October 2011. We had organised many meetings in our organisation to carefully prepare for the meeting with the mayor. Comrades had taken time off work for the meeting. People were excited. But the meeting was cancelled in the last hour.

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Yesterday a House was Demolished in a Village called Kafer Al-Deek

This article has now been published by Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

Yesterday a House was Demolished in a Village called Kafer Al-Deek

It's Tuesday morning on the 4th of October 2011. The sun is bright and everyone in the village of Kafer Al-Deek is busy in the fields. October is the time for the olive harvest. Most of the families who still have olive groves use this time to be together and to help each other with the harvest before the winter starts at the end of November or the beginning of December. Most families wake up early every day to go to the fields and come back late at night. Some of them have houses on the farms that they sleep in during this time. Some of them use these houses to prepare food and to rest while they work in the farm.

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Upgrades v Evictions

Thursday, 29 September 2011
Berlin University, Germany

Upgrades v Evictions

I wish to thank Misereor and the Habitat Unit of Berlin University for inviting me to speak on 'Upgrading Urban Shack Settlements' at this meeting on people centered upgrading approaches. Abahlali baseMjondolo has a lot of experience on this important issue and I will do my best to share that experience with all of you here today.

Before I begin it is important for me, on behalf of Abahlali baseMjondolo, to thank Klaus Teschner and Misereor for their support when we were facing serious repression. One of the great weakness of our democracy is that the legal system is commodified. This is one reason why the state is often happy to force the struggles of the poor into the courts. It is very easy for the state and other elites to isolate the struggles of the poor by criminalising the struggles of the poor. If we enter the courts without good legal representation, which costs money, we are in a very dangerous situation. Misereor has enabled us to enter the courts with good legal representation and this has meant that we could get a fair hearing there. We also want to thank Klaus's comrade, Knut Unger, who has hosted our comrades here in Germany and has done so much to organise political support for our struggles, especially when we are facing repression.

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For the City of Cape Town to condemn people who occupy land is for the City of Cape Town to condemn the poor

For the City of Cape Town to condemn people who occupy land is for the City of Cape Town to condemn the poor

We note that yesterday, the 25th September 2011, the City of Cape Town's reactionary and often violent Anti-Land Invasion Unit, with a help of Law Enforcement, Metro Police and South African Police Service demolished more than 100 structures at Kraaifontein. These structures had been erected by backyarders on an open field that had remained an unused piece of land for more than 17 years. In some countries unused land is considered to be public land. Here in South Africa the state will always attack any attempt by the poor to make good use of unused land.

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Comrades in New Zealand in Solidarity with AbM

24 September 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Activists in New Zealand Who Once Supported the Leadership of the ANC in the Struggle Against Apartheid are now supporting AbM's Struggle for Justice.

 



S'bu Zikode & John Minto, New Zealand, 30th Anniversary of the 1981 protest against the Springbok Tour

 

In the small country of New Zealand, with a population of about 4.5 million people nationally, the AbM President S'bu Zikode gave an inspiring and challenging speech to 300 people on 11 September 2011. These people were once strong supporters of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. It is sad that the very same people who fought for the freedom of all South Africans have now been betrayed by the very same comrades who they once fought for to free the country from apartheid. “Since the end of apartheid the rich have gone richer and the poor have become poorer” the President told the assembled group. As he was going around New Zealand he also showed the comrades on that side something about the lives of the poor in South Africa by screening the film Dear Mandela. New Zealanders were stunned by the revelations in the film and the President's talks as they have 0% shacks in their country.

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Second Open Letter to Mayor Patricia de Lille

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Dear Mayor de Lille

Thank you for the reply from your chief of staff to our letter dated 12 September. We have now had time to circulate it amongst our members and to discuss it carefully.

We do appreciate your invitation for the leadership of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape to meet with the mayor. There has, after so many years of struggle in Durban, been no such invitation from any mayor in Durban and we note and appreciate your willingness to meet with us.

As we have previously stated we have no intereste in attending stage managed events that are designed for the media rather than to enable genuinely open discussion. We are committed to participatory democracy and to participatory budgeting and urban planning methods and would like to find forms of engagement that are genuinely participatory. As we have both noted in the past the current policies are failing to address the urban crisis in Cape Town. We cannot accept that so many of our people will live their whole lives in shacks. We need to find a new path and to advance down that path. This requires the development of a serious critique of the current policies and not just PR exercise in support of them. We want to build a people’s Cape Town in which all people count the same and everyone can live a life of safety and dignity. To us it seems logical that this will only be possible when people are put before profit and the social value of land is put before its commercial value.

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Telling the untold stories: In West Bank

Telling the untold stories: In West Bank

From 'Mazet', an Umhlali doing solidarity work in Palestine

 



This world is still cut in two: Palestine, 2011

 

There are 2,5 million Palestinian living in West bank, 150 settlements and 100 outposts. There are 500,000 Israel settlers, 125 residential areas and 25 Industrial areas. Israel has constructed by passing roads for Palestinians which they use to move from one are to another. 80% of the West Bank is a danger zone. Palestinians needs permits to live in their homes. To reach their land for 70% of the Palestinians in West bank which is 3km away from them is impossible. Most of the times Israelis deny Palestinian the permits, they say its for security reasons. This then restrict Palestinians from using their land for farming which is the on the other side of the village and they need permits to move. In side the West Bank check points are being removed. There are 63 Permanent check points. Two major roads are controlled by two check points and Palestinians are unable to move freely. Jerusalem used to be a cultural, spiritual and commercial center and now Palestinians need special permits to access the city.

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Two Worlds: A Documentary about South Africa’s Inequality

 



 

Released earlier this year, Two Worlds is a documentary that according to its makers, "questions why South Africa has one of the greatest divides between rich and poor." Noting that inequality is no longer a phenomenon exclusive to the developing world and that poverty is now very much prevalent in the developed world, this 28 minute film uses South Africa as a case study to probe questions about inequality for a global audience.

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Eskom and the City of Cape Town in another Brutal Attack on the Poor

Friday, 16 September 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Press Statement

Eskom and the City of Cape Town in another Brutal Attack on the Poor

Yesterday Eskom and the City of Cape Town descended on RR Section in Khayelitsha with a heavy police presence. They removed safe insulated cables that people were running from shacks with legal electricity boxes into shacks without electricity. The people who were running the cables into their shacks were paying those with legal electricity to use their power. These negotiated connections between neighbours were not illegal. It is therefore the police, and Eskom and the City of Cape Town, who engaged in criminal actions (theft and assault) yesterday.

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What is the Future for the Youth of South Africa?

15 September 201
Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League Press Statement

What is the Future for the Youth of South Africa?

The issues that are facing the youth are being ignored for eleven months of the year and only recognised on the youth month. But even on the youth month when the issues of the youth are being recognised there is a lack of seriousness about dealing with the crisis facing the current generation. There is a lot of talk and big speeches in stadiums and on TV but very little action.

The media are often confused. They often think that the tenderpreneurs really represent the youth when in fact they only represent themselves and their super-rich friends in business and politics. They are exploiting the crisis of the youth to advance their own interests.

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South Africa’s Great Change

S'bu Zikode's talk at the 30th anniversary of the 1981 protests against the Springbok tour of New Zealand

South Africa’s Great Change

I wish to thank Global Peace and Justice, in Auckland, for inviting me to New Zealand to speak on the progress of post-apartheid South Africa and the birth of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. I also wish to thank Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, the movement that I am part of, for trusting me with the responsibility of representing it.

I also wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the anti-apartheid movement here in New Zealand who stood firm with the people of South Africa in the fight against apartheid. Many of our older comrades remember watching, on TV, the protests that you organised against the Springbok tour in 1981. There were thousands of you, many thousands of you. You were attacked by the police. Many of you were beaten and arrested. Your protests were a deep shock to the racists in South Africa. It made them realise that although Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher accepted their racism ordinary people in New Zealand did not. Your protests also gave courage to the people struggling against apartheid in South Africa. You were workers, priests, teachers, housewives and students. You were men and women. You were old and young. You were people in New Zealand who made people in South Africa know that they were not alone in this world. The comrades who were of that generation remember how your brave protests made their hearts sing with joy and hope back in 1981.

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Open Letter to Mayor Patricia de Lille

8 September 2011

Dear Mayor de Lille

I wish, at the outset, to make it clear that we, as Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, and the many organisations in solidarity with us across Cape Town, appreciate some aspects of your speech yesterday.

We appreciate the fact that you acknowledge that shack dwellers, including backyarders, are living as we are as a result of a history of oppression and not because there is something wrong with us. Once this fact is acknowledged then it becomes obvious that we need justice and not charity to help us to survive poverty for another day or education to train us to accept our poverty. What is required is an end to poverty.

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Mayor De Lille Unwilling to Meet Backyarders on our own Terms

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Press Statement
6 September 2011

Mayor De Lille Unwilling to Meet Backyarders on our own Terms

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape mobilised backyarders from Delft, Gugulethu, Mandela Park, Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha in advance of the meeting that Mayor Patricia de Lille had scheduled with backyarders in Khayelitsha today.

We made it clear that we do not consider public events stage managed by the City at which each organisation can only send three representatives to be genuine participatory democracy. We are committed to participatory democracy, to the co-planning of open assemblies at which participatory budgeting and urban planning can be taken forward. The logic of representation at meetings organised in a top down way is the logic of civil society. It is not the logic of popular democracy.

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Socialism Needs Those Who Really Need It – The Poor

Socialism Needs Those Who Really Need It – The Poor

Socialism is such a big word. It should belong to the people. It should be part of their living politics. But most times it belongs to those who want to define themselves as if they are the masters of everything. This is a serious problem because in socialism you can’t think that everything belongs to you. In socialism all the people need to be given a space. Socialism is not supposed to be like any other political movement. Socialism needs more participatory engagement. It does not need those who think that they can decide for the people on the ground. Socialism has no racial discrimination, no sexism and also no inequality. In socialism everybody is equal and no one is regarded as Mr., Mrs. or Miss know it all.

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AbM WC Welcomes Church Solidarity

3 September 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo, Western Cape Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo, Western Cape Welcomes Solidarity from the Cape Town Churches

On Wednesday 31 August Abahlali baseMjondolo in the Western Cape had an important meeting with a number of church leaders and church organisations. The meeting was held in Khayelitsha and was called by the church leaders.

The church leaders present included:

* Dr. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
* Dr. Stephen Brislin, Catholic Archbishop of Cape Town
* Dr. Braam Hanekom, Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church, West and South Cape

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Re-Launching the Kennedy Road AbM Branch

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
2 September 2011

Re-Launching the Kennedy Road AbM Branch

In September 2009 the Kennedy Road Development Committee, a structure that was always subject to annual election with the right to recall ,and which was working hand in hand with Abahlali baseMjondolo, was expelled from Kennedy Road by armed members of the ANC. Willies Mchunu then imposed an ANC committee on the community. He called this the 'liberation' of the settlement and said that the elected structures were 'illegitimate' and that the unelected committee imposed by armed force was 'legitimate'. The committee imposed by Mchunu did nothing for the community. Things went from bad to worse. The houses that the ANC promised after the attack were never built.

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S’bu Zikode – New Zealand visit 1st – 13th September 2011

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1109/S00004/sbu-zikode-new-zealand-visit-1st-13th-september-2011.htm

Thursday, 1 September 2011
Press Release: Global Peace And Justice Auckland

S'bu Zikode – New Zealand visit 1st – 13th September 2011

South African President Jacob Zuma may have cancelled his visit to New Zealand for the World Rugby Cup but a much more significant visitor will be arriving late tonight.

S'bu Zikode has been invited to New Zealand by Global Peace and Justice Auckland as part of the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok tour.

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Celebration of the 6th Anniversary of AbM

25 August 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Celebration of the 6th Anniversary of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A.

 



Gogo Shange Speaking at the 6th Anniversary Celebration of Abahlali baseMjondolo

 

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Romans 8: 31-36

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S’bu Zikode’s Presentation at the Fanon Colloquium, Rhodes University, July 9, 2011

http://thinkingafricarhodesuniversity.blogspot.com/2011/08/sbu-zikodes-presentation-at-fanon.html

S’bu Zikode’s Presentation at the Fanon Colloquium, Rhodes University, July 9, 2011
(rough transcription)

The idea that shack dwellers can think and that Abahlali can sustain its autonomy has created a crisis. There is a price to be paid for such thinking, for such autonomy.

The university is slowly opening spaces for grassroots organizations and some of us have fought hard for a relationship of equality between grassroots organizations and the university. We appreciate that Nigel Gibson has brought Fanon into conversation with us, with our struggle and our thinking. The conversation has been very rich and also difficult. We speak of Fanon from our own working environment. What hasn’t been covered in these 4 days is that Fanon was an activist, committed to daily work with people, talking with people.

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Statement on the Return to Kennedy Road

21 August 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Statement on the Return to Kennedy Road

Those members of the ANC that attacked our movement in September 2009, that banned our movement in the Kennedy Road settlement after the attack on the pain of death, that destroyed and looted our homes for months, that sold our sites to new people, that made death threats to state witnesses in the trial that followed the attack on our movement and attacked one witness and issued public death threats against many of us have now run to the media to say that they are scared of the return of the displacees to Kennedy Road. They have even gone to the police to ask that we must be prevented from returning to the settlement. They are trying to present themselves as victims.

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AbM Women’s League 2011 AGM

8 August 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Woman’s League

Making the women’s voice heard and ensuring that full gender equality remains a priority for social movements and other demanding deep change and transformation

 



Four Hundred Women Attended the AbM Women's League AGM, eMmaus, Pinetown, 9 August 2011

 

The Abahlali baseMjondolo Woman’s League of S.A was formed in 2008 at a meeting in the Kennedy Road settlement. It was formed to strengthen the fight against poverty, evictions and all forms of abuse. The Abahlali Women’s League has struggled against gender inequality as we believe that we are all equal in front of the eyes of God and that we should all be treated equally.

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eThekwini Municipality Shoots Sixteen Year Old Boy in Kennedy Road

Update: 5:03 p.m. A second boy of a similar age was also shot. He has also been admitted to hospital.

6 August 2011
Abahlali baseKennedy Statement

Sixteen Old Boy, the Son of Witness X, Shot by the State in Kennedy Road

This morning the eThekwini Municipality launched another armed raid on the Kennedy Road shack settlement to try and disconnect the people from electricity. As usual there was resistance, unarmed resistance, to this attack from the Municipality. The Municipality's security guards responded by firing live ammunition at the protesters.

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All Charges Dropped Against the Grahamstown Four

3 August 2011
Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement

All Charges Dropped Against the Grahamstown Four

Yesterday all charges were dropped against the Grahamstown Four – Ayanda Kota, Xola Mali and Nombulelo Yami of the Unemployed People's Movement and Ntombentsha Budaza of the Women's Social Forum – in the Grahamstown Magistrate's court. This was the forth time that the four had had to appear in court since they were arrested on the 10th of February 2011.

On the 9th of February there was a protest against rape and the lack of water in parts of Grahamstown. The Municipality illegally and unconstitutionally banned the protest and people responded by occupying the Municipal offices. A meeting was promised but after it failed to materialise a road blockade was organised in the Phaphamani squatter camp. Some civil society organisations are uncomfortable with the road blockade as a tactic but around South Africa and around the world the road blockade has emerged as a key weapon of the unemployed who cannot strike.

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CounterPunch: No Easy Path Through the Embers

http://www.counterpunch.org/pithouse08012011.html

No Easy Path Through the Embers

By RICHARD PITHOUSE

In Texaco, his novel about the history of a shack settlement in Martinique, Patrick Chamoiseau writes of a “proletariat without factories, workshops, and work, and without bosses, in the muddle of odd jobs, drowning in survival and leading an existence like a path through embers.” But Texaco is also a novel of struggle, of struggle with the “persistence of Sisyphus”- struggle to hold a soul together in the face of relentless destruction amidst a “disaster of asbestos, tin sheets crates, mud tears, blood, police”. Texaco is a novel of barricades, police and fire, a struggle to “call forth the poet in the urban planner”, a struggle to “enter City”. It's about the need to “hold on, hold on, and moor the bottom of the your heart in the sand of deep freedom.”

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Dancing and tears and moving forward at Kennedy Road

Dancing and tears and moving forward at Kennedy Road
A statement of solidarity to Abahlali baseMjondolo from CLP
July 2011

All of us at CLP [Church Land Programme] were so happy when the 'Kennedy 12' were finally acquitted this week. We congratulate the movement on this victory and for the strength you have all shown throughout the process. We were proud and privileged to find some practical ways of helping during the ordeal. From the times we were able to see some of you in prison and in court, and during the time we were able to provide you with shelter in safe accommodation, the 'Kennedy 12' became much more than a group of 'the accused' to us. We got to know you well as real people.

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The City of Cape Town has created this war in Blikkiesdorp

29 July 2011
Press Release

The City of Cape Town has created this war in Blikkiesdorp

We warned the City.
We warned the courts.
We warned the public.

Fearing for our lives and with a heavy heart, we write this to tell Zille, Plato and de Lille and say: We told you so!

Yesterday, the morning of the 28th of July, Blikkiesdorp exploded into a full-scale drug war.

This is what we warned the government against when we resisted our eviction to Blikkiesdorp from the pavement of Symphony Way. The shacks we built ourselves were better than the shacks that our City has built and dumped us in.

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Cape Times: Show of strength outside court

http://www.capetimes.co.za/show-of-strength-outside-court-1.1107618

July 28 2011

Show of strength outside court

Shanti Aboobaker, Leila Samodien and Lauren Isaacs

THEY came en masse, bearing placards and chanting as they gathered on the steps of the Western Cape High Court yesterday.

This as about 300 members of the Mitchells Plain Backyarders Association – supported by the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, Communities for Social Change, the Mandela Park Backyarders and Abahlali baseMjondolo associations – waited outside the court to hear the outcome of the case in which they face being removed from land they were occupying illegally.

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We March Today in Defiance of the City of Cape Town!

27 July 2011
Press Release by the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign

We March Today in Defiance of the City of Cape Town!

With or without the permit from the city, today, we will be marching first to the High Court and then to the offices of the City of Cape Town. In terms of the Gatherings Act, when we want to march, the law says we must notify the city and SAPS within 7 days. The law further suggests that if the city refuses to grant a permit they need to provide us with written reasons after meeting in person with the organisers of the march. The City has not fulfilled its legal obligations and therefore the march is 100% legal.

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Displacees Return to Kennedy Road

Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Abahlali Press Statement

The Kennedy Road Development Committee, the Kennedy 12 and other Displacees Return to the Kennedy Road Settlement

Our acquittal in court without freedom to return to resetting our feet in Kennedy Road would be pointless.

 



The ruins of Mondli Mbiko's home in Kennedy Road

 

After two and half year the Kennedy Road Development Committee, members of the Kennedy 12 and their relatives, as well as some members of AbM, went to Kennedy Road on Sunday to check on their homes and sites that they were residing on when our movement was attacked. We were about a hundred people.

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Cape Town Municipality Tries to Deny the Right to March

Press Release

With or without the permit from the city our march to Cape town high court then to the city of Cape Town goes ahead. in terms of gatherings act when we want to march, the law says we must notify the city and SAPS within 7 days. And the law further suggests that if the city refused to grant permit they need to provide us with written reasons, and they have not done it yet, so we are going to stick to the law and go ahead with our march. It's up to the city if they want to make relevant authorities to be present during our march. Till then Aluta Continua

1. The poor communities of the Western Cape will no longer dance to the tune (service delivery) of government. Which mean the poor will take their land in South Africa.

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Dear Mandela World Premier, Durban, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

DEAR MANDELA TO HAVE WORLD PREMIERE AT DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

DOCUMENTARY SHINES LIGHT ON UNCONSTITUTIONAL FORCED EVICTIONS AND A NEW
GENERATION OF BORN-FREE STRUGGLE LEADERS

On Tuesday together with the public, 150 Abahlali BaseMjondolo
members will watch their remarkable story unfold on the big screen: How
they stood up to protect their community against Red Ants, bulldozers,
assassination attempts and forced removals, all eerily reminiscent of the
Apartheid-era.

Dear Mandela will have its world premiere at The Elizabeth Sneddon
Theatre on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 18:00 as part of The Durban

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DLF Statement on the Kennedy 12

19 July 2011
Democratic Left Front

Press statement: Celebrate the acquittal of the Kennedy Road 12! Investigate the role of the SAPS and the ANC in the September 2009 attack on Kennedy Road

 



Mnikelo Ndabankulu speaks outside the court

 

The Democratic Left Front (DLF) salutes the 12 members of Abahlali BaseMijondolo (AbM) from Kennedy Road in eThekwini who were acquitted of all charges of murder. Their arrest and trial followed a September 2009 attack on AbM in the Kennedy Road informal settlement eThekwini. All evidence pointed fingers at ANC-mobilised and police-supported attackers who were heavily armed and used ethnicity part of their strategy. ANC involvement in the attack was confirmed by ANC provincial statements that heralded this attack as the ‘liberation’ of the area. For months after the attack the homes of AbM leaders were openly and publicly attacked with impunity by the local ANC. Many had to leave the area.

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HALALA FOR the Kennedy 12

HALALA FOR the Kennedy 12

We see this as a great day for the 12, their families, their movement and the struggle of the poor in South Africa. From day we as the SDCEA were suspicious of the so called charges that were brought against Abahlali comrades ,we believed that these were trumped up to destroy the movement of the poor.We as the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance wish to extend our deepest congratulations to our comrades and our brothers in the movement for their steadfast resolve to challenge this injustice since their arrest.

We will continue to stand by the poor no matter what the situation . We have heard in the courts the false evidence presented from some of the witness presented and knew this could never stand the test of the truth as it was clear that there was no evidence against any of the accused and that there had been an attempt to frame them.

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DEAR MANDELA World Premiere in Durban on July 26, 2011

Feature-length documentary film
Directed by Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza

When their shantytowns are threatened with mass eviction, three ‘young lions’ of South Africa’s new generation rise from the shacks and take their government to the highest court in the land, putting the promises of democracy to the test.

DEAR MANDELA will World Premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on July 26, 2011.

www.dearmandela.com

© SLEEPING GIANT, 2011

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SERI Statement on the Kennedy 12 Trial

Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)
[Media Release, 18 July 2011]

"Kennedy 12" Acquitted

Magistrate criticises “dishonest” and “unreliable” witnesses

Twelve members of Abahlali baseMjondolo – a shackdwellers movement based in Durban – brought to trial on spurious charges ranging from public violence to murder, were acquitted today in the Durban Regional Court.

The activists were prosecuted in the aftermath of the attacks on Abahlali’s members residing in the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement on 27 and 28 September 2009. Abahlali members were evicted from the settlement by an armed gang associated with the local branch of the African National Congress (ANC) while the police looked on.

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Victory in the Kennedy 12 Trial!

18 July 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The Victory in the Kennedy 12 Trial is a Victory for all the Poor in South Africa

The Kennedy 12 have been acquitted of all the charges bought against them after the attack on our movement in September 2009. It is a great day for the 12, their families, our movement and the struggle of the poor in South Africa.

 

 




 

 

We wish to begin by extending our deepest, heartfelt gratitude to all our comrades and our partners around the world who have supported the 12 and our movement since the attack. We must thank our Alliance partners, the Rural Network, LPM, and the AEC; our comrades in the UPM and the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front; Bishop Rubin Philip of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Diakonia Council of churches, and all the other church leaders that stood with us; the German churches; the Church Land Programme; the Human Rights organization around the world, particularly Amnesty International, the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York; our comrades in the grassroots organisations in the US from Chicago to New York City and the Bay Area in California, our comrades in Moscow (Russia), Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Belgium. We also want to thank all the academics and leading scholars who signed a powerful petition in our support and all those who academics who wrote articles in our defence while we and our supporters were under attack. Most importantly we want to thank our Legal Team from the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI). There are so many of you, we cannot mention you all by name, but we thank you all. We are not alone in this struggle.

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Statement by Methodist Bishop Michael Vorster on the Acquittal of the Kennedy 12

STATEMENT BY BISHOP MICHAEL VORSTER
NATAL COASTAL DISTRICT – METHODIST CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

ON THE ACQUITTAL OF THE “KENNEDY 12”

In September 2009, a violent attack took place in the informal settlement known as Kennedy Road in Durban, wherein two people died. A group of young men from the shackdwellers’ movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, were arrested, detained and eventually charged with several crimes, including murder. After many months and numerous delays two were released, leaving twelve who became known as the “Kennedy 12” and who were to face a long and protracted legal process which was fraught with suspicion and allegations of political interference.

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Halala Abahlali baseMjondolo! A Victory for One is a Victory for All!

Monday, 18 July 2011
Press Statement by the Unemployed People’s Movement

Halala Abahlali baseMjondolo! A Victory for One is a Victory for All!

 



Rev. Mavuso celebrates outside the court

 

In September 2009 Abahlali baseMjondolo was violently attacked by the local ANC in the Kennedy Road squatter camp in Durban. The attackers were armed and shouted ANC and ethnic slogans. To their eternal and permanent disgrace the provincial ANC heralded this attack as the ‘liberation’ of the area. For months after the attack the homes of Abahlali baseMjondolo leaders were openly and publicly destroyed with impunity by the local ANC.

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Victory for Abahlali baseMjondolo – Defeat of our detractors!

18 July 2011
Press statement of Bishop Rubin Phillip on the acquittal of the 'Kennedy 12'

FOR URGENT AND IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Victory for Abahlali baseMjondolo – Defeat of our detractors!

We celebrate the victory that the shack-dwellers' movement, Abahlali
baseMjondolo, has won in court today where ALL of the 'Kennedy 12' have finally
been acquitted of ALL charges against them.

 



Bishop Rubin Phillip

 

For three years, since the violent attacks on Kennedy Road in 2009, we have

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Why We Continue to Struggle Rather than Celebrating Freedom on Mandela Day

17 July 2011

Revolutionary radicals recalcitrant in their reflective refusal to revere “freedom days” are dubbed as reactionaries by our “democratic state”.

by Reverend Mavuso Mbhekeseni, Rural Network

The South African calendar is full of days on which we are asked to celebrate our freedom. There is Human Rights Day, Freedom Day, Worker's Day, Youth Day, Mandela Day, Women's Day and Heritage Day. These days are turned to months. Those of us who refuse to celebrate these days and months as if the struggle is over and who insist that the struggle goes on are called reactionaries.

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The Kennedy 12 Will be Back in Court on Mandela Day

17 July 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The Kennedy 12 Will be Back in Court on Mandela Day

We wish to remind all our comrades and friends that we will be back in court, for the third part of the trial of the Kennedy 12, on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July 2011. You are all invited to join us at the court.

While the rest of the country and the world will be celebrating Mandela Day by remembering the struggle of Tata Mandela we will be celebrating our daily Mandela Day in court where we continue to face state repression in the third year since our movement was attacked in the Kennedy Road settlement.

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From Shooting to Brutally Beating by the Farmers

15 July 2011
Rural Network Press Statement

From Shooting to Brutally Beating by the Farmers

On 05 March 2011, Mr. Nayetsheni Lymon Ndlozi was brutally beaten by the farm owner of Vaalbarn Farm in Utrecht. At the time of the attack Mr Ndlozi was going to fetch his cows that had been impounded by the farmer Mr Johan Landman and his son. Mr Ndlozi a 62 year – old man is a farm labour tenant who claimed Uitkom farm and was vindicated by the Newcastle Court. The farm used to belong to Mr Landman’s father and he was very much angry about the judgment. He was trying to use the attack on the Ndlozi family as a way of constructive eviction.

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Police & Municipal Security Break the Ward Councillor’s Promise & Return to Kennedy

04 July 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Police & Municipal Security Break the Ward Councillor's Promise & Return to Kennedy

Yesterday the new ward councillor Bhekisani Ngcobo arrived at a road blockade erected to defend the community against armed de-electrification by the eThekweni Municipality and promised residents of the Kennedy Road shack settlement that the municipality would stop trying to disconnect them from electricity. Today the Municipal Security Guards arrived, with police back up, and tried to continue to disconnect the people. The people resisted and organised another road blockade. Right now the police have stepped back but it may be that they are waiting for reinforcements.

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Diary of Alfred Moyo from the Deposed Makause Development Forum – Part 2

SMS diary – Follow-up on Makause Development Forum’s ousting by the ANC, and its remobilisation

27 June 2011 (evening) – Today Michael and I consulted with SERI to get their legal advice on this matter. Unfortunately there’s not much that they can do and we also highlighted the negative involvement of the SAPS which might also compromise our personal safety and Makause more as threats of burning down our shacks and looting the Somalians’ shops made in police presence. So we and SERI agreed on strategic approaches of dealing with these challenges: 1) to remobilise the community through section by section mass meetings with the assistance/presence of SERI starting this coming Wednesday … (rest of sms missing and not recovered)

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Municipal Security and Shack Dwellers Clash in the Kennedy Road Settlement

Sunday 3 July 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Municipal Security and Shack Dwellers Clash in the Kennedy Road Settlement this Morning
Attempt at Armed De-electrification Successfully Resisted

This morning Municipal Security Guards arrived at the Kennedy Road shack settlement and began disconnecting people from electricity. The community had previously negotiated an understanding with the Municipality that they would not send their security guards into the settlement to disconnect. However this morning this agreement was violated and the people resisted the disconnections. There was a confrontation,rubber bullets were fired and stones were thrown. A young man was shot in the chin with a rubber bullet at close range. A road blockade was then organised following which both the SAPS and the Metro Police arrived on the scene. But the attempt to disconnect people from electricity was successfully resisted.

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Climate Change in the Shacks

CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE SHACKS

Climate change is one of the main issues facing the world at this moment. We all know that when things go wrong, like when there is an earthquake or a flood, or a drought, poor people are most vulnerable. And usually the response to these disasters is a second disaster for poor people. For instance in Sri Lanka the so-called ‘development’ after the Tsunami forcibly removed fisherfolk from their coastal land to give it to developers to build hotels. Sometimes the attempts to prevent disaster are also a disaster for the poor. In South Africa when it is acknowledged that we as a country are using too much electricity it is not the big companies or the rich that have the police and the security guards kick down their doors to disconnect them. In some other countries in Africa poor rural people are being forced off their land so that it can be used for bio-fuels. Maybe this will slow down climate change but why must it be the poor people in Africa that must pay the price for this? They are not the ones that caused the problem. The ones that caused this problem are the rich, especially in America and in Europe.

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Diary of Alfred Moyo from the Deposed Makause Development Forum

The Makause Informal Settlement Forum in Primrose, Ekurhuleni was overthrown today by the local ANC with the support of the SAPS. The Makause Forum is an independent structure that had been democratically elected to represent the community. Some individual members of the committee have links to the ISN but the committee as a whole remains independent. The overthrow of another community structure by an ANC mob, backed with police support, brings back painful memories for Abahlali baseMjondolo and we are in full solidarity with the Makause Forum. We call on comrades in Johannesburg to show active support to the comrades in Makause and for everyone in this country who calls themselves a democrat to insist that the poor have the full right to organise themselves autonomously from the ANC if that is their wish. This insistence remains useless for as long as it remains abstract and something spoken about in conferences. Solidarity must be concrete, a living force on the ground.

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Julius Malema is a Demagogue

Julius Malema is a Demagogue and his Nationalization Would be Nothing but a Massive Public Subsidy for the Rich

by Ayanda Kota, Chairperson of the Unemployed People's Movement, Grahamstown

The mass movements that have raised progressive governments to power in Latin America, the global financial crisis, the recent uprisings in the Arab world and the ongoing rebellion of the poor in our own country have all created more space for the left. The days when so many people believed that there was no alternative to capitalism and imperialism are passing. Socialism is back on the agenda. It is clear to many people that we cannot continue to organise our economy around the interests of big capital while leaving the people to suffer as they are.

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Two Families Evicted in eNkwalini – Forty More Under Threat

Two Families Evicted in eNkwalini – Forty More Under Threat

The Mbambo and Shobete families have had their homes destroyed by a farmer, Louis John Nel, in eNkwalini which is between eShowe, Melmoth and eMpangeni. Around fifteen people have been left homeless as a result of the eviction. These people were born on this land. They are now sleeping in their friends and neighbour’s homes. They have been given a document which indicates that around 40 homes will be demolished in total.

The farmer claims to have bought the land in 2008 and he has a title deed. He has no court order for the eviction but a notice was put up on the 17th of June instructing the two families that they must be in court in Pietermaritzburg on the 21st of June. The notice of motion was also sent to the Municipality, the Department of Land Affairs and Rural Development and the local Inkosi, Mr. S.T. Zulu. The Inkosi invited the farmer and the Department to a meeting to discuss the matter but the farmer refused.

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Where is the Freedom Charter?

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/74103

Where is the Freedom Charter?
Lindela S. Figlan

Before the government can use its muscle to pass the Protection of Information Bill, let me ask a question. It is a very good question and all those who are unhappy have got this question in their mind. Where is the Freedom Charter?

 



Comrades from the Right to Know Campaign at the AbM YL event, 16 June 2011, Motala Heights

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Bring Back the Truth and Dignity from 1976

Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League Press Statement

BRING BACK THE TRUTH AND DIGNITY FROM 1976

 



The AbM YL Youth Day event, 16 June 2011, Motala Heights

 

On Youth Day this year the nation will be celebrating 35 years since the struggle of the youth that died for Freedom, Democracy, Justice and Equality in 1976. We as Abahlali youth agree that the courage of the youth of 1976 must be celebrated. But we also wish to bring back the truth and the dignity of those youth that sacrificed with their lives in 1976. We need to make that truth and dignity a living force now. The struggles of the past must not be misused to silence the struggle of the present. The struggles of the past must be used to support the struggles of the present. Every generation must be free to take their own struggle forward.

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Nyanzelisa i… Right 2 Know

Nyanzelisa i… Right 2 Know

Nqanda umthetho we mfihlelo!!!

Iinzuzo zomzabalazo wenkululeko zibekwe emngciphekweni yi-Protection Of Information Bill – POIB exoxwa nguRhulumente sithetha nje. Le-Bill ifana nqwa nale mithetho yengcinezelo. Le-Bill icinezela abanolwazi ngolwaphulo mthetho nokufumaneka lula nama xwebhu emfihlelo.

Naliphi isebe lika-Rhulumente, lingakwazi ukthi amaxwebhu ka rhulumente ayimfihlelo, lonto isenze ilizwe elinee mfihlelo ezininzi. Amagosa ka-Rhulumente, akhomfuneko bacacise xa efuna ukufihle izinto. Akuyakubakho nto okanye ikomiti eqinisekisa ukuba, ukukho zinto ezifihlwa eluntwini, ekumele ukuba luyayazi.

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Another Shack Fire Destroys Families’ Homes in Siyanda

Monday, June 13, 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement Press Statement

Another Shack Fire Destroys Families' Homes in Siyanda

South Africans are still recovering from the heavy rains that caused a lot of damage and flooding especially to poor communities. In Siyanda people have to deal with fire as well as flood. The Shange family, the Buthelezi family and one other family have all been left homeless after a fire that destroyed three shacks in Siyanda B Settlement on Saturday, 11 June 2011 during the broad day light.

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Intimidation and death threats against Somalian traders in Gugulethu

5 June 2011 – Gugulethu AEC press alert

Intimidation and death threats against Somalian traders in Gugulethu

The Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign has just been informed of serious threats to the well-being of Somalian shopkeepers in Gugulethu and the surrounding area. The shopkeeprs informed AEC members today of the threats and AEC is afraid of a repeat of the 2008 attacks which led to the death of dozens and the displacement of thousands. During those attacks, Gugulethu AEC successfully brokered an agreement to prevent the fighting (see here and here).

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UFrantz Fanon waziwa kakhulu njengomunye wezinculabuchopho zomzabalazo wenkululeko eAfrika.

UFrantz Fanon waziwa kakhulu njengomunye wezinculabuchopho zomzabalazo wenkululeko eAfrika.

 

 




Frantz Fanon: 1925 – 1961

 

 

Wazalelwa esiqhingini sase Martinique ngo 1925. I Martinique yayibuswa ngaphansi kwengcindezelo yombuso waseFrance. Abantu abahlala khona kwakungabokudabuka eMartinique, kanye nabase Afrika ababelethwe ngaphansi kohlelo lokuthumba abantu base Afrika benziwe izigqila kanye nabokudabuka eNdiya ababelethelwe ukuzotshala umoba eMartinique ukuze uthunyelwe eFrance.

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ANC Branch Threatens Attack on the Leadership of the Makause Shack Settlement

Abahlali baseMjondolo stands in full solidarity with the democratically elected leadership of the Makause settlement as they face threats of violence from the ANC branch in Primrose. We are far away in distance but close in spirit and we will do all that we can to mobilise support for the comrades in Makause as their community politic faces the threat of repression from party politic. As our experience shows very well these threats must be taken very seriously by all democrats.

Makause Press Statement
Sunday 29 May 2011

Primrose ANC Branch Threatens Attack on the Leadership of the Makause Shack Settlement in Ekurhuleni

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Evictions and Intimidation Continue in Many Shack Settlements After the Local Government Elections

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Evictions and Intimidation Continue in Many Shack Settlements after the Local Government Elections

On the day after the election, 19 May 2011, the eThekwini Municipality’s Land Invasion Unit arrived in our settlements. Mr Mdletshe from the Land Invasion Unit arrived with his team to demolish shacks in Arnett Drive, Reservoir Hills. When talking to residents there Mdletshe was very rude and violent to Abahlali. He pointed at Sam Jaca and threatened him saying he is the one that took him to the High Court. Mdletshe's team them demolished two shacks leaving the families homeless. They had no court order and were acting without any respect for the law, the court, the community or the families that they left homeless.

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Can Youth Show the Way?

Can Youth Show the Way?

Zodwa Nsibande
(Talk to the 'Democracy Forum', UKZN, Pietermaritzburg, Friday 13 May 2011)

Yes we can. In isiZulu we have a saying that says “Inkunzi isematholeni” – The bull is in the calves. If we are taking about the youth that have made a mark in our history we should not end the conversation without talking about the youth of 1976. And then you will ask the question “Where are youth of today?”. You will get the answer within the blink of the eye, “They are in the taverns”. Yes some of them are there. But they are not all there by choice. Many are there due to this capitalist system that is governing our country and puts some of us in heaven on earth and others in hell on earth. Many people are drinking to dull their pain in a world that offers them no future. But there are others who are committed to uplifting their communities. In our movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, and in many of the struggles around the country that have made the rebellion of the poor young people have been in the forefront.

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No Land! No House! No Vote! Summit (Our votes are conditional)

No Land! No House! No Vote! Summit (Our votes are conditional)

On the 14th of May 2011 the No Land! No House! No Vote! Summit will be held at Mandela Park, by the Mandela Park Backyard Dwellers.

While the Democratic Alliance will be hosting it's final National Campaign Rally at the O.R. Thambo community hall on the 14th May 2011, Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape will be joining the Mandela Park Back yard dwellers in their No Land! No House! No Vote! Summit.

ABM WC would like to appeal to many voters who have not yet decided to vote, not to sell their votes to any political parties. We are saying our vote is precious and is not for sale and that our vote is conditional.

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Gugulethu community submited grievances to municipality – vow protests if not heard!

http://antieviction.org.za/2011/05/10/gugulethu-community-submited-grievances-to-municipality-vow-protests-if-not-heard/

Gugulethu community submitted grievances to municipality – vow protests if not heard!

The Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign held a protest today which converged on Fezeka Municipality Offices in Gugulethu. Poor and unemployed residents came from all over Gugulethu, KTC, Crossroads and Nyanga to have their voices heard.

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Makhaza Land Invasion

Makhaza Land Invasion

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape support the initiative of creating community from below by Makhaza back yard dwellers.

Within the city of Cape Town there is a backlog of housing for more than 500 000 people and this number increase by 20 000 while the city of Cape Town can only afford to build 8 000 houses per year.

It is clear that people who are in the waiting list and those living within informal settlements will have to wait more than 30 years before they can access decent houses within the city of Cape Town.

For the past few days people of Makhaza at section 36 have been building their own shacks at an open space of unused land for more than 17 years, most of these people have been in the waiting for more than 15 years.

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Shack Fire Takes a Life in eMmaus

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Sunday, 1 May 2011

Shack Fire Takes a Life in eMmaus

At 04h00am this morning a candle was accidentally knocked over in a shack in New eMmaus in Pinetown. Mr. Zulu (33), the owner of the shack, was burnt to death as the fire destroyed his shack.

The fire brigade and the police were called but by the time they came the damage was already done and Mr. Zulu was already dead. Yesterday in a separate incident the Jadhu Place shack settlement in Clare Estate was on fire as well. There has been a wave of shack fires across the country since Easter. A number of people have burnt to death. Winter is here and the poor are burning once again.

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The Kennedy 12 Return to Court for Part Two of their Trial

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Kennedy 12 Return to Court for Part Two of their Trial

Abahlali baseMjondolo will return to the Durban magistrate’s court on Tuesday 3 May 2011 to support the twelve men who have become victims of the political conspiracy to disguise the reality of the armed attack on our movement that took place in the Kennedy Road settlement on the 26th and 27th of September 2009. That attack displaced hundreds of women, men and children and the resulting conflicts left some people with serious injuries and two people dead.

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Inkulumo kaMengameli wa-Bahlali baseMjondolo ngo suku lokugubha ukungakhululeki kwaBahlali

Inkulumo kaMengameli wa-Bahlali baseMjondolo(Sbu. Zikode) ngo suku lokugubha ukungakhululeki kwaBahlali. (Unfreedom Day Rally)

27 Epreli 2011

Mqondisi wohlelo, Sekela Mongameli waBahlali, Sihlalo waBahlali baseMapulazini, Baholi bezenkolo, Izinduna, Kennedy 12, Church Land Program, Streetnet, CHOSA, UPM, South Durban Environment Community Alliance, Student from the SIT, Foreman Road Development Committee, Bahlali baseMjondolo.

 

 




 


UnFreedom Day 2011

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Not Yet Uhuru

This letter has now been published in the Mail & Guardian as an article.

NOT YET UHURU

Dear Editor

On the 27th of April 1994 the people of this country stood in long queues for many hours, waiting to cast their vote for the first time. In some parts of the country the weather was indeed hostile, freezing cold, while in other parts of the country it was scorching hot. Our people were voting for the first time, voting for an end to racism and for democracy and a better life – for jobs, free education and decent housing. Over and above their vote for their material needs to be met they were voting for their freedom. Or so they were made to believe!

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Our Sadness on UnFreedom Day

Our Sadness on UnFreedom Day

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
27 April 2011

For the poor in South Africa, there is no freedom.

Today from 10am till 2pm, the movements will come to QQ Section Informal Settlement for an UnFreedom Day rally. QQ was the victim of a huge shack fire just before Christmas in 2010 so the location is fitting for our Shack Fire Summit

The Anti-Eviction Campaign, Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Backyarders, the Landless People's Movement, and other communities of people living in poverty throughout South Africa are not going to celebrate Freedom Day. Instead, we are going to mourn it. The 27th of April, to the poor, is a day of mourning.

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27th April UnFreedom Day Mass Rally at QQ Shack Settlement, Khayelitsha

27th April UnFreedom Day Mass Rally at QQ Shack Settlement, Khayelitsha

Tomorrow the 27th April, most people through out the country will be celebrating 17 years of our so called freedom or democracy.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape joined by Mandela Park Back yard dwellers, Gugulethu Anti-eviction Campaign, Delft Anti-eviction Campaign, Langa Concerned group from Langa TRA's and by many other community based organizations including pastor Xola Skosana who led a march from Gugulethu to Khayelitsha on the 23rd April under the campaign 'Welcome to Hell South African Townships' will be hosting a shack fire summit at QQ informal settlement from 10: am till 13:00 pm.

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No Freedom for the Forgotten

Abahlali baseMjondolo KZN Press Statement
21 April 2011

No Freedom for the Forgotten

On the 27th April the whole country will be asked to commemorate the seventeenth year of so called “Freedom”.

We cannot forget that many people died and fought hard and with courage and determination to gain this freedom from apartheid. We honour those people all the time. Many of our members struggled in trade unions and in community organisations. We have members whose ancestors fought in the war fought from the Nkandla forest and in the rebellion on Nguza Hill. The struggle against apartheid is our struggle.

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Invitation to the Cape Town Shack Fire Summit

http://www.khayelitshastruggles.com/2011/04/re-invitation-to-shack-fire-summit.html

ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO MOVEMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA (WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE)
Website: khayelitshastruggles.com or www.abahlali.org
Email: abmwesterncape@abahlali.org office admin: 0732562036/073 4128 218

The above mentioned organization would like to invite your organization/ community/ area to a SHACK FIRE SUMMIT that will be held at QQ informal settlement site B Khayelitsha on 27 April 2011 from 10:00am to 13:00pm.

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D Section community to mobilise and return old lady to her rightful home

http://antieviction.org.za/2011/04/20/d-section-community-to-mobilise-and-return-old-lady-to-her-rightful-home/#more-4516

20 April 2011
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement

On the 20th of July 2010, right in the middle of the FIFA World Cup, Sheila Jacobs, a pensioner, was evicted from her home at D233 Khumbula Street in D Section, Khayelitsha. Phumla Maqasha arrived with the Sheriff of the Court and a contingent of police from Lingelethu SAPS, while she was watching a soccer match on TV.

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Police violence in Ficksburg is not anything new

http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=140782

Police violence in Ficksburg is not anything new

by Steven Friedman

REALITY in our society is that which appears on prime-time TV. The outrage that has followed the beating and killing of Ficksburg activist Andries Tatane is a reassuring reminder that human values are deeply rooted here. But, as justifiable as the anger is, much of it seems based on a misapprehension — that the sort of police action that killed Tatane is new. Actually, all that is new is that the police were unwise enough to attack him in front of cameras, which beamed their acts into living rooms around the country.

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2nd week (a call for Madikizela to step down as MEC for human settlement continue

http://www.khayelitshastruggles.com/2011/04/re-2nd-week-call-for-madikizela-to-step.html

2nd week (a call for Madikizela to step down as MEC for human settlement continue

Tomorrow: 19th April 2011

Time: 10: am till 12:00

Place: Cape Town

Start point: Keizerngracht street, Cape Town (next to CPUT) (10: am)

Tomorrow the 19th April the call for Madikizela MEC for human settlement to step down as MEC continues, this follows a failure from him and his office to sign an undertaking that he will not ever again demolish people's structure or evict people within the Western Cape province without any order from the court.

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Freedom Day: KZN Subsistence Fisher Folks Take Back Their Traditional Fishing Grounds

KZN SUBSISTENCE FISHERS’ FORUM

JOIN TO TAKE BACK OUR TRADITIONAL FISHING GROUNDS

The purpose of this program of action is for fisher folks to take their fishing grounds back from their government. We encourage all fisher folks to join together and put pressure on all government to ensure that fishing as a livelihood, remains at the forefront of overcoming poverty. For too long government has ignored the rights of fishermen and support other users of the beaches and harbours because of our silence.

We need to unite and our defiance campaign can only be successful if we all come together .

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Protests in E Section set to continue after Thursday’s police violence

http://antieviction.org.za/2011/04/17/protests-in-e-section-set-to-continue-after-thursdays-police-violence/#more-4499

17 April 2011
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement

Protests in E Section set to continue after Thursday’s police violence

Residents have vowed to continue their protest against the eviction of a poor family and against Thursday’s police brutality that has left 3 residents seriously injured. Residents will submit a petition to police today and fight for the rights and dignity of resident’s vulnerable to greedy banks and politicians.

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Protest Day 2: The call for Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlement to resign continues tomorrow

A call for Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlement to resign continues tomorrow 14 April 2011

PROTEST DAY TWO

TIME: 10: AM TILL 12: PM

Tomorrows protest will be lead by QQ informal settlements to call on Madikizela to sign an undertaking that he will not ever again demolish people’s structure or evict people without any order from the court or to resign.

THE PROTEST WILL START@ KAIZERNGRACHT STREET, CAPE TOWN. (NEXT TO CAPE PENINSULA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY)

For more info call: Nompumezo Nyakatyha ABM WC admin: 073 4128 218

For more comment call: Mzonke Poni ABM WC Chairperson @ 073 2562 036

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From Shooting to Brutally Beating by the Farmers

11 April 2011
Rural Network Press Statement

From Shooting to Brutally Beating by the Farmers

On 05 March 2011, Mr. Matshana Mdlozi was brutally beaten by the farm owner of Valban Plaza in Utrecht when he was going to fetch his cows that have gone through his plaza.

For several occasions the farm owners have taken law into their hands and walked scot free. For so many years the farm residents have been under pressure, living like they don’t belong to this country while the farm owners treat them like they are in prison. For too long it has been reported that the farm residents are being brutally killed with out intervention from the government yet they are the voters of South Africa. As this has been continuous by the farm owners Mr. Johan Landmann has taken the law into his hands by beating Mr. Matshana Mdlozi while he was going to fetch his cows in his plaza. As he was beating Mr. Mdlozi, the son of Mr. Landmann was watching Mr. Mdlozi crying for help but Mr. Mdolozi did not get any help from him. This is not the first time that Mr. Landmann has done this as he has once before beaten up Mr. Themba who is now disabled.

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Protest Day 1: A call for Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlement to resign

Protest Day 1: A call for Madikizela, MEC for Human Settlement to resign

PROTEST DAY ONE

Last week Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape made a call to MEC for human settlement MR. Bonginkosi Madikizela to sign an undertaking that he will never, ever again within the Western Cape Province demolish or evict people without any order from the court.

This follows number of illegal activities and intimidation carried by his office lead by him. ABM WC gave him seven working days to respond, and as an organization we were only expecting him to sign an undertaking that says he will not demolish people’s structures without following the legal route. A failure to sign such undertaking simply shows that he is arrogant and thinks that he is above the law.

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Open Letter to MEC for Human Settlement, M.R Bonginkosi Madikizela

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape
No 28 Ramaphosa street site B
Khayelitsha
7784
www.khayelitshastruggles.com
cell: 073 2562 036

Department of Human Settlement
27 Wale Street Cape Town
Tel: 021 483 4466
Fax: 021 483 3888

To: MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela

RE: Undertaking not to carry any illegal eviction within the province

Dear MEC

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape has observed with great concern for the past few months, your department and city of Cape Town have been engaging with unlawful activities on demolishing people’s structures and evicting people without any order from the court.

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ABM WC Welcomes Joe Slovo informal settlement constituional court judgement

http://www.khayelitshastruggles.com/2011/04/abahlali-basemjondolo-western-cape.html

ABM WC Welcomes Joe Slovo informal settlement constitutional court judgement

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape welcomes the Joe Slovo Constitutional Court Judgement which was handed over Thursday last week. Which set aside the eviction order granted in June 2009.

While this is a victory for people of Joe Slovo who did not want to be evicted to Delft, we also note that:

1. If the previous Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was not arrogant, and was willing to engage meaningfully with the residents of Joe Slovo the whole dispute between both parties would have been resolved outside the court and satisfactory decision to both parties would have been reached.

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March on the uGu District Mayor

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A
Press Statement Saturday, 26 March 2011

March on the uGu District Mayor to Demand that Nomusa Dube Extend Her Investigation into Corruption to the Vulamehlo Municipality

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A is a social movement that fights to protect and promote the interests of the poor in S.A. While our movement works hard to build and to sustain democratic structures in our communities, to organise our own community controlled projects and to secure land and housing in our cities we also work hard to partner with all government departments and development agencies that are willing to help to better the lives of our communities and to get rid of corruption wherever necessary.