Daily News: Mom cries as shack woman is held

Emotions were running very high after the illegal evictions, two assasinations, the murder of Nqobile Nzuza and the blatantly political arrest and denial of bail to Bandile Mdlalose.


By Nkululeko Nene

Durban – Abahlali baseMjondolo spokeswoman, Bandile Mdlalose, who is accused of causing public violence during a protest in Cato Manor, must spend a week in custody – her bail application has been adjourned until Monday.

Members of the shack dwellers’ movement who were at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday shouted in dismay when magistrate Vanitha Armu announced her decision.

The crowd refused to leave the court when the court interpreter pleaded with them to go. They threatened her, saying she did not live in the building and would have to walk out after work.

Mdlalose’s mother, Busisiwe, cried hysterically inside court as she watched her daughter being led away to the court cells.

“I do not feel okay. I am very worried about her state of health.

“She had not been there in the first place until receiving a call about the shooting where a teenager was shot dead,” she told the Daily News.

“As a leader she rushed to the scene. To me it is not clear why she got arrested. Instead of arresting the killer, they have decided to arrest my Bandile.”

Nqobile Nzuza, 17, a pupil at Bonela High School, was shot dead at the scene of the protest in Vusi Mzimela (Bellair) Road early on Monday, allegedly by one of two policemen who had arrived in a police van.

According to the charge sheet, Mdlalose was alleged to have placed tyres and other objects in the road and set fire to these to obstruct traffic.

“The television news footage shows that Bandile had been pointing fingers at police asking them why they were shooting people.

“What they are doing won’t stop the movement to fight for people’s rights. It is like trying to put off a flame, using paraffin,” her mother said.

She claimed that when Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu and Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo arrived at the Cato Manor police station, where Bandile was being held on Monday, a decision was taken not to free her daughter.

But KZN community safety spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, later told the Daily News that the position of the MEC was that anyone who broke the law should be detained.

“He cannot give directives to members of the police not to arrest law offenders,” said Ncalane.

Speaking outside court, Abahlali’s former president, S’bu Zikode, expressed his disappointment at the postponement of the bail application.

“There were absolutely no grounds for detainment. It is a political trial,” said Zikode.