22 September 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement
Abahlali to celebrate Heritage Day at Lindokuhle Community Crèche
On Monday 24 September Abahlali will be joining many South Africans who still see heritage month as significant in our time. We believe that our culture helps us not only to define our identify but also our humanity as well.
We will be celebrating this day with cultural entertainment that shows the diversity of our communities and our struggle. We continue to insist that everyone in the shacks is from the shacks and is therefore a person who has a valuable contribution to make to the struggle of the poor. We continue to refuse to let politicians and others misuse language and culture to divide and thereby weaken the poor
But we also commemorate this month as having brought a significant change in our movement. It was on the very day of 24th of September 2009 where our attackers had planned to assassinate us at our Heritage Day event in eMmause, in Pinetown. It did not work out but on the 26th of September 2009 our attackers mounted a successful attack on us and forced many of us out of our homes in the Kennedy Road settlement in Clare Estate.
This day will never be forgotten by many of us. We had been beaten and arrested and intimidated and banned from protesting before. But on the 26th of September 2009 it became clear to everyone that these repressions were not mistakes, or just problems with local councilors and police stations. It became clear to everyone that it is no accident or oversight that there is no democracy for the poor in South Africa. We either accept our oppression and obey the politicians or we are repressed. This is the reality of this so-called democracy.
The Marikana Massacre did not come out of nowhere. There is a long history of repression of poor people's movements and struggles around the country.
We will have different speakers from different branches addressing us on various issues that keep us in the shadow of injustice. We will also celebrate the new order handed down in the Siyanda/Richmond Farm High Court ruling (there will be a mass meeting in eMathinini tomorrow to discuss the meaning of the order and the way forward). We will have all traditional entertainments e.g the Zulu dance, Sarafina, various kinds of music, plays and poems. And, of course, the Imfene Dance will be there.
The event will take place at Lindokuhle Community Crèche, Richmond Farm, from 11am to 4pm.
For further information please contact:
Zinhle Zungu: Abahlali Youth League 073 8885677
Bandile Mdlalose: Abahlali Secretary 071 4242815