Monday, 6 November 2017
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Repression & Intimidation in Lindelani
Yesterday in Lindelani, Ward 43, Sibusiso Cele and Xolani Msomi called a community assembly to prepare for the launch of a new AbM branch in the area.
There is a housing development in the area but people who are not members of the ANC and the IFP have not been given the numbers on their shacks that signify that they have been placed on the list to get houses. This is the usual corruption that happens all the time in Durban. Many of the people in the area that have joined our movement are among those who have been excluded from the housing project.
Knowing very well that there is a strong tendency to repression Cele and Msomi went to the police station, and met the Commissioner, whose name is Canal Madonsela to inform him that the assembly had been planned and to ask for protection against repression. The Commissioner signed that they had a right to hold a meeting and promised to come and protect them should they have any attempt to close the meeting down.
Before the assembly could start two men tried to assault Cele. He had to flee. He called the police for protection, as agreed. However the ANC CLO for the housing project, Mabutho, arrived with the local IFP chairperson, Mhlongo and a group of men armed with guns. These men threatened the people who had gathered for the assembly and people had to escape. The assembly was not able to go ahead.
Right now Cele and Msomi are in hiding. Since your movement was first formed in 2005 attempts to hold meetings in new areas, and especially attempts to launch branches, have often resulted in serious threats and intimidation from local party gangsters. This is the first time, though, that the ANC and IFP have united in the same area to try and suppress our movement.
Everyone must know that in Lindelani our members are being threatened. If any harm comes to Cele, Msomi, or anyone else, we will hold Mabutho, Mhlongo and the local structures of the ANC and the IFP responsible.
The matter has been reported to the local police and we will continue to organise in Lindelani and to occupy political space, as well as land, in the area. We will not give in to this kind of political thuggery by political parties intent on protecting their corruption.
Sibusiso Cele 076 392 7246
Mqapheli Bonono 073 067 3274