The March on Mlaba and Sutcliffe
Friday, March 18, 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Abahlali baseMjondolo to March on the KwaZulu/Natal Premier on Human Rights Day
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA will be marching to the Durban City Hall on Monday, 21 March which is Human Rights Day. We will be joining other movements, organisations, communities and citizens and individuals of Durban and surrounding communities including street traders, flat dwellers, farm dwellers and shack dwellers. Together we will deliver a clear message to Mlaba, Sutcliffe and Naidoo that they have corrupted this city for too long and that their time is up.
We will be marching to end the incredible corruption in this city. We will be marching to force Mlaba and his corrupt and brutal council to vacate their offices pending the investigation into the 3.7 Billion Rand that they are alleged to have corrupted. Our central demand is clear: “They must all go!”
We will also be marching for land and housing in our cities. We will be marching for an end to the amatins and to all forced evictions. We will be marching for the right to organise freely and in safety. There has never been any respect for the human rights of shack dwellers and the poor in this city and we will be marching, once again, to affirm our equal humanity and our demand for equal dignity.
For too long our movement has been treated with disrespect and shame. For too long our demands have not been taken seriously. For too long we have been made to live in substandard houses without secure land, electricity and toilets. For too long the politicians have lied to us without conscience and treated us with contempt. For too long we have organised without being able to enjoy the right to free expression in our own city.
The politicians would like Human Rights Day to be just another day on which our human rights are violated by greedy politicians. We have engaged the government at all levels, including the Zuma office, without success. It is clear that we have not earned the respect of the politicians because we cannot buy their respect. Today we have decided to take it upon ourselves to demand that respect. Today we have decided to take our struggle back to street where our real power lies. We are determined to affirm, assert and defend our dignity.
Today it has become clear why the shack dwellers remain in poverty and in the shacks year after year while Government issues the housing budget every year. Today it has become clear why the eThekwini municipality continues to ignore us. The reasons for the attack on our movement and for the bans our marches each time we raise these issues have become clear. The reasons for Nigel Gumede avoiding meeting with our leadership has become clear. The corrupted 3.7 Billion Rand is the answer.
Today is the time for accountability. Today is the time for rate payers’ money to be returned by those who have corrupted it. Today is the time for corrupted RDP homes to be returned to their rightful owners. Today is the time for an end to all corruption in this municipality. It is the time for free and safe organizing in our settlements to begin. As long as the politicians and officials continue treating us with such brutality we will remain organised in our streets. We are warning Sutcliffe and Mlaba that we will not be intimidated by their police, their lies or the ongoing intimidation of our members by local ANC leaders and business men allied to the party.
Abahlali in Durban, just like our Western Cape sisters who we fully support, remain too proud of our vote to give it to corrupt politicians. We thus say “No Land! No House! No Respect! No Vote!” This is a campaign that we will stand by until radical changes happen. We support the call that Abahlali of the Western Cape will be launching on Monday to ensure that the politicians do not play fouls with our people. Our people can no longer be deceived.
Our march will leave from King DinuZulu Park (formerly Botha Park) and proceed to the Durban City Hall from 9 am to 12 pm.
Mnikelo Ndabankulu (Abahlali spokesperson) on 081 3095485
Bandile Mdlalose (Abahlali Secretary) on 071 424 2815 or at the Abahlali office on 031 3046420