The movement was growing rapidly in the political ferment leading up to the March 2006 local government elections. But most new areas faced very serious intimidation at the micro-local level as they tried to build a politics autonomous from the party/state. Below is an article about threats made to militants in the Joe Slovo settlement, the first settlement in the Southern part of the city to join Abahlali, and press releases from E-Section, Umlazi, where assasination became a form of political control. Joe Slovo had a tought time but have stood their ground recently staging a successful occupation of the local police station. In Umlazi weekly protests eventually led to the prosecution of two of the local councillor’s employees on charges of murder. Fazel Khan, who co-wrote the Joe Slovo story with Steph Lane, is now himself under threat from the management of the University where he works. See http://southafrica.indymedia.org/news/2006/10/11357.php and http://www.metamute.org/files/cafa.letter.doc In her other life Steph Lane is a housing activist in Chicago. As Abahlali got better and better known they got more and more platforms in the media and other forums. They have resisted, with admirable resolve, the pressure to have S’bu Zikode substitute for the mass movement. They scrupulously elect, mandate and rotate representatives to take platforms and attend meetings. But the media interest in Zikode does mean that there is more record of his comments. Here is a transcription of an impromtu talk he gave at an NGO meeting.
‘Joe Slovo Under Threat’ by Steph Lane & Fazel Khan:
Murder in Umlazi:
umlazi6.doc 33 KB
S’bu Zikode’s Transcribed Speech Made at the Centre for Civil Society Colloquium:
sbu_colloquium.doc 99.5 KB