Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Abahlali Return to the High Court Tomorrow as Repression & Intimidation Continue
On 27 July last year our movement obtained a court order from the Durban High Court. It prevented the ANC led municipality from continuing with illegal and brutal evictions in seven land occupations. However the municipality continued with evictions in Cato Manor and New City, violating the court interdict because the middle classes did not want impoverished people living near to them. Many people were injured as a result of being shot at by the Anti-Land Invasion Unit.
Tomorrow we return to court to hold the Mayor and City Manager of the Municipality personally accountable for these illegal and violent evictions, carried out in direct violation of an order of the court.
Despite ongoing armed attacks on our land occupations from the Municipality our members have continued to occupy and to resist. However repression does not only come from the formal structures of armed power like the Anti-Land Invasion Unit, security guards and the police. It also comes directly from the structures of the ruling party, structures that are also often armed.
In the Foreman Road settlement the ANC continues with its repression of Abahlali members. In June last year the community took to the streets and protested for the provision of electricity, a lifesaving basic service. The police responded with violent brutality and a two-week-old baby, Jayden Khoza, lost his life when the police attacked people inside the settlement. Following this there have been a number of devastating shack fires, and more lives have been lost.
As a direct result of a long struggle by our movement over more than ten years electricity is now being installed in the settlement. However as usual the victories of our struggles are denied to us and the local ANC has captured this project for its own purposes.
Our Foreman Road chairperson Mqapheli Bonono is currently receiving death threats from the ANC after he raised questions about the lack of democratic inclusion and consultation with regard to this project. Comrade Bonono is currently in hiding fearing for his life. We wish to make it very clear that if anything happens to our comrade we will hold the ANC directly responsible.
We call upon all popular movements and progressive forces to support us in these trying times where we are faced with an arrogant and violent Municipality that has no respect for our lives, for our rights under the law or for basic democratic commitments. We are not deterred even though we are facing these attacks. We will be coming out in numbers tomorrow at the Durban High Court at 09:00 am.
The struggle continues.
Thapelo Mohapi 062 892 5323
Mqapheli Bonono 073 0673 274
Zandile Nsibande 062 9471 947