12 January 2018
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Another Comrade Has Fallen in the Struggle for Land
Our movement has been facing a lot of brutality in the last three months. On 19 November our chairperson in the Sisonke Village land occupation in Lamontville, Sibonelo Mpeku, was kidnapped and murdered. On 17 December 2017 Soyiso Nkqayini and Smanga Mkhize, were shot by unknown men in the eNkanini land occupation in Cato Manor. Comrade Smanga was seriously injured and Comrade Soyiso passed away.
Yesterday a young man, Sandile Biyela, was killed while escaping a brutal police attack on the Solomon Mahlangu land occupation.
The Anti Land Invasion Unit has been illegally and violently demolishing people’s homes in this branch for months. The community decided to barricade the N2 so that they can be heard. The barricade took place yesterday. The comrades from our Solomon Mahlangu branch were supported in this action by comrades for our nearby Chris Hani and eNsimbini branches.
Instead of listening to the community the Municipality sent armed men, security guards and police officers, to attack them. Sandile was killed while running for his life from the police who were shooting at the protestors, and other people in the community, with live ammunition. The government has his body and we don’t yet have the results of the autopsy. But we know for sure that he died while trying escape police officers firing live ammunition.
This government constantly talks about returning the land to the people but when we insist on our dignity and occupy land we are killed like dogs. Our lives do not count to this government.
On Monday we are returning to the High Court for the sentencing of the police officer who murdered Nqobilie Nzuza (17) on a road blockade in Cato Crest in 2013. The sentencing of this police officer will send a clear message to those police officers who work for the politicians instead of the people that they will not enjoy impunity for their crimes. We call on all those who support the struggle of the impoverished for land, dignity and an end to impoverishment to come and support the movement and the family on this day.
The movement hopes that on Monday justice will be served for the Nzuza family. This matter has dragged for too long and it has been a devastating time for both the movement and the family.
Thapelo Mohapi 062 892 5323
George Bonono 073 067 3274
Zandile Nsibande 062 947 1947
Phumlani Magali 081 333 5583