Road Blockades Around the City

Update 27 September 2013, 12:42: They are feeling the pressure. The provincial MEC wants to open negotiations this afternoon.

Update 27 September 2013, 8:47: There are road blockades again this morning. There are more than 500 people on the Isipingo blockade. The Kennedy blockade is strong too. One arrest so far.

Update 26 September 2013: The three Cato Crest comrades have been released. The charges were withdrawn because the police had no case against them. The person arrested at Kennedy Road has also been released. She was beaten by the police.

26 September 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Road Blockades Around the City

On the 16th of September 2013 we marched on the Durban City Hall in our thousands with the hope that this is the Republic of South Africa and thus we shall be taken seriously. We delivered memoranda demanding well located land and decent housing and the restoration of our dignity to the Provincial Dept of Human Settlement, Cooparative Governence and Traditional Afairs and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo. We made it clear that we expected a response within seven days.

The seven days have now passed and there has been no response to our memoranda.

We have made it very clear that if we did not get a response we will take to streets. What is the point of having the so called legal march if it doesn't deliver fruitful result to our demands? What is the point of going to court when court orders are ignored?

Today different branches of Abahlali are staging road blockades around the city to demand answers to all our unanswered memoranda. In Isipingo Transit Camp, Kennedy Road and Cato Crest the flames are high.

The tyres that are burning around the city symbolize the failure of James Nxumalo and his council. Nxumalo has failed the poor people of Durban. He has failed democracy. He has failed the rule of law.

We are asking ourselves why it is that a man that has failed the people is kept in this mayoral position?

So far three people have been arrested and charged with so called public violence – our normal crime. They were arrested at 5 a.m. this morning and their only crime was to have Dunlop tires burnt. As always instead of James Nxumalo coming to scene to talk to us he sent his police force. The shoot to kill crew. Our comrades will appear in the Durban Magistrate this morning. We will be there to support them.

We wish to make it clear to Nxumalo and everyone else that we will not be beaten out of this city. We are going nowhere. We have shown that if they demolish we will rebuild. If they beat us and kill we keep returning to the streets, to the courts and the debates in the media. If showing our power with a legal march of thousands gets no response then we will engage in disruption with road blockades. We will keep struggling until this City is willing to suspend its violent attacks on us and engage in genuine negotiations.

On the other side Mngomezulu is in a stable condition in hospital and has been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the general ward. There have been threats from the ruling elite, the SAPS and municipal security that they will go to hospital to kill him. On Tuesday, 24 September 2013 Mzimuni Ngiba, an ANC councillor visited Mngomezulu in hospital. We do not know why but we fear that Ngiba wants Mngomezulu dead. We want him and all his associates restrained from visiting a man that they have called their enemy.

S'bu Zikode 083 547 0474
Bandile Mdlalose 084 5575090