Thursday, 29 September 2016
Abahlali baseMjondolo will hold the Unveiling Ceremony of the late Cde Thuli Ndlovu on 1 October
Today marks exactly two years since the assassination of our comrade Thuli Ndlovu. Thuli was a member of the Abahlali National Council and the Chairperson of the KwaNdengezi Branch. She was assassinated on the 29 September 2014 at about 19:30pm. She was carrying her daughter Freedom. She was also with Siphesihle Madlala. Siphesihle, who is Thuli ‘s neighbour, was in the house to assist Thuli’s older daughter, Slindile, with home work. At that time she was doing her matric. The gunman fired eight shorts at Thuli and she died on the scene. Madlala was also shot in his stomach but he was rushed to hospital and survived the painful experience. Thuli left two kids Slindile and Freedom. She also left her Mom. As a result of a long struggle her killers, two ANC councillors, were brought to book. But the reality remains that her kids will never have a Mom again.
September is not a good month for Abahlai. On the 26 and 27 September 2009 our leaders, their families and members were attacked and violently driven out of the Kennedy Road settlement and displaced. It was in September 2014 that both Nqobile Nzuza and Thuli Ndlovu were killed. For this reason we celebrate Heritage Day as a heritage of courage and struggle, a heritage of resistance, a heritage that says that every person counts as a person.
On Saturday we will hold our annual Heritage Day event in KwaNdengezi. This event will be followed by the Unveiling Ceremony for Thuli. We will also use this opportunity to celebrate the lives of Nkululeko Gwala and Nqobile Nzuza who were assassinated in Cato Crest in the same year as Thuli.
We have learnt in this country that the lives of the poor count for nothing. Many of us have paid a very high price for expressing our views and insisting on our humanity. Some of us have lost our homes and our jobs. Some of us have been tortured, beaten, arrested. Some of us have been assassinated. Our movement has been slandered in the media and banned from speaking to media and to the authorities of our city.
For a long time we thought that we were on our own. But today we know we are not on our own. People are protesting all over the country. In fact people are organising and protesting all over the world. We have seen how other protesting communities and workers like in Xolobeni and Marikana have been killed. On this day we will be celebrating the courage of all the fallen heroes of our time for standing up for the truth, real freedom and real democracy we want to achieve.
We will also use this opportunity to extend our solidarity with striking students in various universities of country. Many of our younger members have not been able to continue their studies because they don’t have the money. Some of our older members were part of the generation that was told ‘liberation now, eduation later’. They gave up their education for the struggle but were never able to return to their studies. As a movement we have rejected the idea that land should be bought and sold. We take a firm position that land must be allocated on a social basis and not a commerical basis. Just as we do not accept the commodification of land we also do not accept the commodification of education.
Free education will not only bennefit impoverished students. It will be a great investment for the nation. What is wrong with educating mainly black poor students? What does the country have to loose by investing to education for the impoverished? We do not support the destruction of university property. Those resources must be democratised, not destroyed. But we do hold the view that a new narrative has to begin, a narrative that focuses on the importance of free and accessible education for all and on the precious value of every child and every person.
On 1 Otober we will be celebrating that Thuli Ndlovu’s killers will be celebrating their first 120 days in prison after they were sentenced to life imprisonment. However Gwala’s killers have got away with murder. Nzuza’s killers will have to answer for their crime on 31 October 2016 when the trial begins. The land in KwaNdengezi that have been stolen in the broad day light has been restored back to the people from whom it was stolen.
Abahlali will come out in our numbers to celebrate this courage of the spirit of no surrender in KwaNdlovu,Thokoza area, KwaNdengezi. The event will take place on October 2016, from 9:00am to 15:00pm.
Zandile Nsibande 062 947 1947
TJ Ngongoma 084 613 9772
Thapelo Mohapi 062 892 5323