14 March 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement
Victory for KwaNdengezi
Three comrades from KwaNdengezi had all charges against them withdrawn in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Their arrest followed a protest against the alleged selling of RDP houses by Nqola, the Ward 12 councillor. Four comrades were arrested to shield Nqola’s corrupt allocation of houses and his attempts to intimidate comrades organising in the area. Mandla Hlophe, one of the four, had all charges against him dropped on the 28 February 2013, by the same court. The three comrades who had all charges against them withdrawn yesterday are Cde Ephrame Hlongwane, Cde Mndeni Nene and Cde Cindy Mabaso.
The dropping of all charges against the KwaNdengezi Four has proven that the charges were fabricated and meant to divert and depoliticize our agenda. Abahlali of KwaNdengezi will have no other choice but to continue to expose and fight all forms of corruption, especial by politicians, at all levels of our society. We continue to demand clean housing developments that are co-designed and managed with the community. We continue to demand that transparency and democracy become the order of the day. We will campaign for what is right for our all communities including kwaNdengezi. We have called on the African National Congress to investigate all claims made against Nqola including the firing of shots into activists’ homes and the killing of a child by his Navara motor vehicle. The eThekwini municipality and the Office of the Speaker have shown their unwillingness to investigate the allegations against Nqola and for this reason people are concluding that they must be protecting Nqola because they are benefiting from his conduct. We call upon all democrats and progressive forces to unite and isolate corruption, thuggery and the abuse of power by politicians. It is completely unacceptable that people raising questions about corruption find themselves threatened and have shots fired into their homes with the result that they do not feel safe to sleep in their homes. As we have been saying for many years there is no democracy for the poor in South Africa.
We express our gratitude to the Abahlali baseMjondolo membership, particular the KwaNdengezi Branch, for standing firm against injustices. We are proud to have a partnership with the Churchland Program who continues to journey with us on this difficult journey. We also thank Abahlali baseMjondolo Friends nationally and internationally for their consistent commitment to the idea that our humanity counts as well. And of course our legal team Pienaar & Pretorius Inc.
We hope that the time will come for the South African government to recognise and respect our humanity as well.
For more information please contact:
Thuli Ndlovu (KwaNdengezi Chairperson): 073 535 0219
S’bu Zikode (Former Abahlali President): 083 547 0474
Bandile Mdlalose (Abahlali General Secretary): 071 424 2815 / 031 304 6420