This chapter provides an account of some of the contestation around a landoccupation in Cato Manor, Durban. It shows that none of the actors aspiring toexercise control – party structures, the local state, the courts, NGOs and popularorganisations – were, in the period under study, able to exercise full control over thepeople or territory in question. It also shows that actually existing forms of contestationfrequently operated outside the limits established by liberal democratic arrangements
Abahlali baseMjondolo joint press statement with the Durban Congolese refugee community
Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Durban Congolese Refugee Community to March on Saturday
We do not count to this society and this world. We can be driven from our homes, beaten, tortured and murdered with impunity. We are placed outside of citizenship and even humanity. When we insist on our dignity, when we take our place in the cities and in the discussions and when we resist the violence that constantly rains down on us like an endless storm we are shown to the world as criminals. We are expected to suffer and die in silence. We are expected to leave a world for our children in which their only future is suffering. We are not alone in having to live under this cruelty. In Palestine, in Haiti, in the Congo and in the favelas of Brazil and the gecekondus of Turkey it is the same.
It is our responsibility to build a new politic, a politic that respects the dignity of all people, a politic that restores the land and wealth of the world to the people, a politic in which there are no people that can be freely driven from their homes and freely killed, a politic in which everyone counts. Continue reading →
Nkululeko Gwala was a well-known activist, and respected member of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a social movement whose campaigns against illegal evictions and political corruption in Cato Crest made headlines in the past year.
It is said that in meetings with the council, Nkululeko Gwala spoke for his community and questioned the corruption that he saw in the housing sector. Gwala had reportedly been collecting evidence of intimidation and political corruption and had planned to meet with S’bu Zikode, an Abahlali BaseMjondolo leader, to present it.
According to Abahlali baseMjondolo, the uprising in Cato Crest is being quelled by all means necessary: death threats, unlawful arrests and police brutality. Many unaligned shack dwellers have also fallen victim to violent suppression. Collateral damage, wrong place, wrong time, the poor man’s burden.
We headed to Cato Crest to find out more about the deaths. Our soft-spoken guide, Ndabo Mzimela does not come across as a political activist. But he became the Chairperson of the Cato Crest branch of AbM when his predecessor, Nkululeko Gwala, was assassinated on 26 June this year.
On 26 June a community meeting was held to discuss Nkhululeko the ‘troublemaker’. The meeting was attended by James Nxumalo (Mayor councilor of Durban) and Sibongiseni Dhlomo (MEC of Health).