Emergency Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Sunday 27 September 2009, 22:40
There are now senior ANC leaders in the Kennedy Road Community Hall. In their presence the homes of the elected Kennedy Road leadership continue to be demolished and burnt by the same small group of well armed people who have been carrying out attacks with impunity for 23 straight hours. None of the people that launched the surprise, unprovoked and heavily armed attack on the KRDC last night have been arrested and yet most of the KRDC is locked up in the Sydenham Police station (including those who were publicly performing the imfene dance in Claremont at the time of the attack).
The police are currently on the scene and are doing nothing to stop the destruction. These are the same police who have, over the years, attacked a number of peaceful and legal marches with swift, shocking (and very effective) brutality. They are very well equipped and armed. They can get the riot police to support them in just a few minutes. They can get water cannons and helicopters in a few minutes. They can call in the army if they need to. It would be supremely easy for them to stop these attacks if they wished too. The police complicity in these attacks is now entirely beyond question. It is a matter of clear and obvious and undeniable fact.
We have just heard that S’bu Zikode’s house has been demolished and his goods have been stolen. He personally requested support from the police but received none. Should we be surprised given that these are the same police that tortured him in 2007 for the crime of trying to attend a radio interview? Mashumi Figlan’s house has been burnt.
Thousands of people have fled the settlement. They are, of course, political refugees.
There is no democracy for the poor in South Africa. Abahlali have been saying this for years. Now it must be obvious to everyone. It is time that we all stopped pretending that everything is ok in our country.