3 October 2017
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. Press Statement
Repression in Durban
The Movement of Abahlali baseMjondolo continues to face serious and unlawful repression by the ANC led municipality in Durban. Right now the community in Cato Manor right now are trying to collect all the pieces and rebuild what is left of their lives are after repeated violent attacks by the Anti-Land Invasion Unit. During these attacks people have been seriously assaulted, beaten with the butts of guns and shot, often multiple times, with rubber bullets.
Cato Manor has now become a war zone. People’s homes are on the ground. People have serious injuries. The very government that claims to be democratic and carry the mandate of the people is organising these brutal attacks to suppress the struggle for land. We will hold this land just as we have held the land in all the other occupations that have faced serious repression.
In Marianridge the ward councillor is intimidating and threatening members of Abahlali. One of our members, Bongiwe Khomo, was intimidated by the ward councillor Sifiso Ngcobo also known as ‘Nadar’. He told her that if she continues to wear the Abahlali t-shirt she will have to leave the area. He has set a law that Abahlali t-shirts must be not be worn in the ward and in the taxi ranks. Members of Abahlali pay extra for taxis just because they are wearing Abahlali t-shirts. Once again an ANC councillor thinks that they have the right to suppress the basic democratic rights of the poor.
It seems as though that the ANC councillors in the eThekwini municipality have not learnt from the two ward councillor who are currently serving a life sentence in Kokstad for murdering our comrade Thuli Ndlovu in KwaNdengezi. Our movement does not accept repression. We always stand with our comrades.
We will not sit and watch as people being abused and democracy being vandalised. We will not sit and keep quiet as corruption is unfolding in front of our eyes. We will not sit and keep quiet just because we are threatened by mafias who are councillors by day. We are aware that the politics in KwaZulu-Natal is dirty. We are aware that councillors have hit men. We are aware that many police officers take instructions from politicians and disregard the law.
We will not be deterred by threats of deaths from people who are directionless. We will continue to fight for land and democracy. We are willing to face the barrel of the gun for justice.
Our struggle is rooted in the occupations and the streets but we also work to occupy other sites of struggle too. We will be sending a strong delegation to the Habitat International Coalition meeting in Nairobi and we will use the platform to exert maximum international pressure against the repression that we are facing in Durban.
Thapelo Mohapi 072 072 0686
George Bonono 073 067 3274