Thursday, 19 May 2016
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Judgment to be Handed Down in the Trial of the ANC Councillors Accused of the Assassination of Thuli Ndlovu
Thuli Ndlovu, our chairperson in KwaNdengezi and a brave and respected comrade, was assassinated in her home on the 29th of September 2014. She was very active in the fight against corruption and the abuse of the rights of impoverished people. She was in the forefront in the protests against the selling of RDP houses. Thuli was also a mother of two children who must now remain without a mother for the rest of their lives.
Our movement faced serious repression since it was formed in 2005 including arrest, assault, torture, murder and the destruction of our homes. We are not the only people who have had to face the politic of blood in KwaZulu-Natal. NUMSA comrades have also been assassinated. Murder has been carried out with impunity at the Gleblands Hostel and elsewhere. There is now regular violence, including assassination, within the ANC.
For years we were only able to face some accountability from the state when we sued the police. But assassinations were carried out with impunity. However, as a result of sustained struggle, the state was forced to act in the case of the assassination of Thuli Ndlovu. Two ANC councillors, Mduduzi Ngcobo and Velile Lutyeku, as well as the alleged gunmen, Mr Ndlovu, were arrested and they have stood trial.
Tomorrow, Friday 20 May 2016, the Durban High Court will hand down judgment in this case. The month of May 2016 has become a historical month where the movement of Abahlali baseMjondolo has for the first time had an opportunity to witness justice in practice.
We have had good results from the courts when we have sued the police. We have also had good results from the courts when we have opposed evictions and attempts to ban our protests. We have also had good results from the court when our comrades have been arrested on trumped up charges.
However the justice system has failed us when comrades have been arrested on trumped up charges, detained, assaulted and forced to go to trial even though there is no evidence against them. The justice system has also failed us when there have been no arrests when repression, including torture and murder, has been carried out against us.
But our members have now regained some confidence in the justice system of this country, in the sense that the accused persons of high political profile have at least appeared before the judge to answer to such serious charges. Whether the accused persons are convicted or not this will still be an important step forward for our movement and for the majority of South Africans who are impoverished people. This is because we are usually taken as people that can be killed with impunity. When there are assassinations independent witnesses to such cases are usually very much reluctant to come forward with evidence due to acts of intimidation and death threats from the culprits.
After having received all the evidence and argument from the prosecution and the defence this matter is now in the hands of the judge to hand down judgment. We have heard all what happened to Thuli in the High Court. We heard how the conspiracy to assassinate her was set up, discussed and carried out. We have also heard how the payment to the gunman was made. We heard about the role of cellular phones in planning this assassination. We have also heard about the report back after the mission was completed from the gunman. We have heard closing argument both from the state and defence. All that is left, is to hear is the judgment from Judge Ploos van Amstel tomorrow morning at the Durban High Court.
No matter what the outcome of this case will be, whether the accused are found guilty or not, it is and shall remain a fact that the orphans left behind after this assassination will never experience the care, warmth and love of their mother. Thuli Ndlovu was also the breadwinner for her family.
TJ Ngongoma 084 613 9772
Zandile Nsibande 062 947 1947
Thapelo Mohapi 076 186 1884