Monday, 12 July 2010
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
The Kennedy 12 Case Postponed Until 29 November – the Five Jailed Comrades to be Released Tomorrow
The political interference around this case continued in the lead up to the start of the trial today. The prisoners were not brought to court and the state witnesses were not summoned to appear in court making it impossible for the trial to begin.
Neither the Investigating Officer nor the prosecutor could explain why the prisoners were not brought to the court or why the state witnesses had not been summoned to appear in court.
The magistrate could not understand this and she insisted that everyone has the right to a fair and speedy trial and that these endless delays are not acceptable. She set down the trial for the 29th of November and said that the accused and the witnesses must be summoned to appear in court on that day and that the trial will definitely go ahead on that day. She also said that the five prisoners must be brought to court tomorrow and that they will be released on a bail of R1000 each. The political interference in this case will cost them one more night in Westville Prison but tomorrow they will be free.
This is the first time, since this matter started ten months ago, that a magistrate has acted fairly and in accordance with the law. We welcome this and the fact that the five members of the Kennedy 12 that have remained in prison for ten months without a trial, or any evidence being brought against them, will be released tomorrow.
Our advocated read out a letter to the court from the Investigating Officer which said that the state witnesses had said that they would only be prepared to give evidence if they were given houses. It is clear to us that the state is trying to delay this trial by undermining the court process because they have no evidence against the accused.
We note that only seven members of the ANC, led by the shacklord Zandile Mdletshe, attended the court proceedings today. Slowly but slowly the lies that the ANC have told are being revealed and the truth is remaining. People are no longer interested in being bussed into court by the ANC to attack our movement. They have become aware that they are being abused by the politicians.
There were 150 AbM members in the court and the media was there in full force.
Once again we extend our warm and deep thanks to all the hearts and minds that prayed and struggled with us in the lead up to today.
We are busy organising a welcome ceremony for the five that will be released tomorrow. Bishop Rubin Phillip will be part of the welcoming delegation. Full details will be available from our office later on this afternoon.
For comment or more information please contact.
Bandile Mdlalose, Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary: 074 730 8120
Mnikelo Ndabankulu, Abahlali baseMjondolo Spokesperson: 079 745 0653
S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo President: 083 547 0474
Mzwake Mdlalose, Kennedy Road Development Committee Chairperson: 072 132 8458