6 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Threats of Violence Against Tomorrow's March
Our movement often gets reliable information from within the ANC and government structures from people that are sympathetic to our movement and our struggle. Today we have been informed by a number of highly credible sources that the Ward 23 Councillor, Themba Mtshali, and the chairperson of the local BEC of the ANC, have been mobilising people to disrupt our march tomorrow. We have been told that they aim to prevent the march from going ahead and to use their own violence to justify the illegal ban on our march.
The people that are being mobilised to attack our march are being told that they will be attacking the IFP tomorrow. The people that were mobilised to attack our movement in Kennedy Road were told that they were attacking COPE. In light of the recent violence between the IFP and the ANC in Durban this new lie saying that we are IFP is a very dangerous lie. We note that Nigel Gumede, head of housing in the eThekwini Municipality, and Officer Solomon in the Sydenham SAPS are also spreading this lie. KwaZulu-Natal is the capital of the politics of warlordism, political assassination, police violence, torture and murder. Threats of political violence always have to be taken seriously here. Political violence has become normal here.
It is an important principle for our movement that the people on the ground, the ones who are most affected by what happens in any situation, must be the ones to take the decisions about how to respond to that situation. Our plan at the moment is to go ahead with our peaceful march despite the illegal ban by the police and the plans to attack the march by the local ANC. This will an act of non-violent civil disobedience in support of our basic democratic freedoms. We are hoping that by exposing Mtshali's plans in advance we will make it difficult to continue with them. However if the police threaten violence or attack the march without warning, or if the plans by the local ANC to attack the march materialise, we will be guided by the marchers and local residents in deciding how to respond.
If there is any violence tomorrow it will come from the police or the ANC or both. If there is any violence tomorrow serious questions will have to asked as to how it is that Nigel Gumede, Themba Mtshali and Officer Solomon are all saying that our march will be an IFP march in ANC territory at at time when there is high tension between the IFP and the ANC in Durban.
The only democracy for the poor in Durban is the democracy that we have built for ourselves and that we have to constantly struggle to protect from the politicians and those police officers that are remoted by the politicians.
For comment and up to the minute information please contact:
Ntombemhlophe Zothwa, Secretary of the Palmiet Abahlali baseMjondolo branch: 083 218 1934
S'bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo: 083 547 0474
Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali baseMjondolo: 071 183 4383