Foreman Road Settlement Renews its Commitment to Abahlalism

Friday, 30 May 2014

Abahlali press statement


Foreman Road Settlement Renews its Commitment to Abahlalism


Poor people are at most risk of crime in South Africa. We also get the least support from the police. Often it is assumed that all poor people are criminal. Sometimes the police are the biggest threat to us. However when a community is democratically organized it can sometimes be possible to negotiate with some people in the police so that people can get proper protection against violence. It can also be possible for a community to organize itself in such a way that the risk of violence is reduced. When this doesn’t happen people often take matters into their own hands. In most shack settlements people that commit serious violence against other residents, acts like rape and murder, are made to leave to the settlement. This can happen on a fair basis but, especially when there is no democratic process, it can also be very dangerous.

Earlier this month on the 4th May three young men attacked community members in the Foreman Road settlement in Clare Estate resulting to a few injuries and damage to property. When Sydenham police were called they asked the community to lay charges and one of the three suspects was arrested. Two days later he was released on bail and the bail condition stated that he does not come anywhere closer to the community. The community got angry when they realised that the other two suspects were not arrested and chased them out of their homes. This action was not organized by our movement. Two community members were later arrested.

Last week Sunday, an Abahlali activist George Bonono was shot three times in his house in Foreman Road. It is suspected the very same suspect whose bail condition was that he never set his feet in the settlement was the one that shot George. George survived the shooting and handed over a gun cartridge to the Sydenham police.

Today the community came out in their numbers at court to support the two community members who acted in defence of the community from criminals when all appeals to the SAPS for support had failed. The matter has been adjourned for the 10th June 2014 for further investigation.

Although we have had members in Foreman Road since 2005 the Abahlali branch in Foreman Road has not been active for three years now. Last year comrade George managed to recruit about eighty Abahlali members so that an election could be held and the branch relaunched (a minimum of fifty paid up members is required to launch or relaunch an Abahlali branch).

Last night a very successful and well attended Abahlali meeting was held in the Foreman Road settlement. The comrades there have vowed to continue the process of working towards the relaunch of the Abahlali branch in Foreman Road. The new branch will work hard to ensure that everyone in Foreman Road is safe, that the police offer the same protection to poor people as they do to middle class people in the area, and that the struggle for land and housing can continue in the settlement on a mass basis and on a democratic basis.


Please contact


George Bonobo (Abahlali organiser in Foreman Road) on 071 7937645

T-Man Mqidi (Forman Road activist) 073 6076303

Ndaboh Mzimela (Abahlali secretary) on 074 401 5974