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    Welcome to the Abahlali Website    

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Welcome to the Abahlali Website

Sawubona! Welcome to the online home of the Abahlali baseMjondolo, the South African shackdwellers' movement.

Journalists might be interested in following these links.
For a selection of articles written from within and on Abahlali baseMjondolo visit the University of Abahlali baseMjondolo pages.
All Abahlali members are welcome to get a username and contribute to Abahlali.Org

Nigel Gumede Must Go

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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