7 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
March Gets Underway Despite ANC Intimidation in Clare Estate this Morning
From early this morning Ward 23 councillor Themba Mtshali went from shack settlement to shack settlement in Ward 23 intimidating people and warning them not to participate in today's march – which was been unlawfully banned by the local SAPS. Mtshali was accompanied by his BEC and his (always armed) bodyguards.
There was also a large police presence in the area. The police were heavily armed and had two water cannons. In light of the fact that it was the police that unlawfully banned the march and their history of violence against our movement – and their support of violence against us from the ruling party – their presence there may also have been a form of intimidation. We know that their work is often to protect the politicians – not the people or what's left of our democracy. However the marchers were able to assemble and to begin the march. The police did not try to disperse them so it seems that they have backed down from their ban in face of the pressure. There is also a strong media presence. However ANC supporters have massed at the councillor's offices and are saying that they will block us from delivering our memorandum.
Abahlali baseMjondolo have been joined by comrades visiting from Take Back the Land in the USA on this march.
For up to the minute information on the unfolding situation please contact:
Ntombemhlophe Zothwa: 083 218 1934
Zodwa Nsibande: 071 183 4383