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.
In order to sustain our active presence with each community and with each branch in the movement we hold community meetings and general meetings. Yesterday we had our general meeting. It was attended by two hundred men and women, old and young. We discussed our home made politic. We also had an opportunity to reflect together on the tactical position that we took on the election. We will keep reflecting on this position as we move forward. But most importantly we have reflected on our deeper living politic and the criticism from those who face no fear of eviction, fire or death, those who know nothing about our lives but are very sure of their right to think and decide for us. It is strange that some people will say that we must listen to them because they care about our lives but we never see them when the land invasions unit or the police or the izinkabi come. It is strange that some people will say that they are really the ones that care about our lives but, just like the ANC, they cannot allow us to think and speak for ourselves. It is clear that for the regressive left we will always be children or criminals but never, never citizens or comrades or even just grown up people trying our best to find a safe place for ourselves and our families in this world.
We also reflected on how our decision, and the recent tensions in the movement that began when some of us were fearing for our lives, has been sized as an opportunity to try and crush our movement and dismiss our struggle so that the time of the strong poor can be over and things can go back to normal and those rich people that want to speak about us and for us without us can do so freely.
“Our lives are a battlefield on which is fought a continuous war between the forces that are pledged to confirm our humanity and those determined to dismantle it; those who strive to build a protective wall around it, and those who wish to pull it down; those who seek to mould it and those committed to breaking it up; those who aim to open our eyes, to make us see the light and look to tomorrow […] and those who wish to lull us into closing our eyes.”
― Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Today we will also be doing our political education in Silver City, Umlazi Township. Silver City is one of the communities which Abahlali successfully defended from the notorious land invasion unit and Metro Rail who threatened to evict the community in 2013. We are determining to keep these families in their homes and to defend this community.
Last Sunday we were invited by the Demert community by Savana Park to present Abahlali philosophy and the mission of our struggle. This is our practice that no community should join the organisation without a clear understanding of its philosophy and political mission. This is very important for us so that we do not chase numbers but make sure people are clear before they can take a collective decision to join our movement.
Yesterday AbM FC won their game 2-1 in Reservoir Hills. They play again today at 3:00 p.m.
Abahlali’s living politic continues to carry us in determining our own future and the future of our children and the next generation. Living politic is not found on social media. It is found where people live and work. Those who are serious about solidarity should come here. Those who really want to know the difference between truth and lies should come here.
TJ Ngongoma Spokesperson 084 6139772
Zandile Nsibande Abahlali Women’s League 074 7675706
Ndabo Mzimela Secretary General 072 4015974