The Social Justice Coalition condemns threats & violence against our Abahlali baseMjondolo comrades in KZN!

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) condemns threats and intimidation by ANC leaders in eThekwini against Abahlali baseMjondolo.

The reports in the past week about eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and Councillor Nelly Nyanisa are very disturbing and must be condemned. Mayor Gumede labeled comrades of Abahlali as being used by a “third force”, and Councillor Nyanisa made a threat saying “we will deal with them”. These are very dangerous statements in an already politically violent environment in KZN.

Over the past few months, too many land and housing activists associated with the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement have been assassinated and killed in KwaZulu-Natal. All this happened under the watch of Law Enforcement and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit. Some killings have been carried out by unknown gunmen in the province. Our comrades from Abahlali baseMjondolo have paid with their lives for demanding access to dignified homes and places of residence, yet these threats and acts of violence continue to go unpunished.

This violence is not only limited to KZN. We have seen similar patterns in other parts of the country, such as Khayelitsha in Cape Town where people’s homes have been demolished in the most violent manner. Land and housing activists are increasingly becoming targets of senseless and violent killings and the perpetrators continue to go unpunished.

In the context of the heinous violence in KZN, it is deeply troubling that such statements and threats are made. This constitutes massive abuse of state power. Many Abahlali activists are in hiding for fear of their lives. Officials should not be intimidating activists and poor, landless people simply for participating in democratic processes and attempting to create a home.

Therefore, we call on the ANC to take urgent action and hold its members accountable for their violent, unnecessary and undemocratic statements and actions. Killings, violence and repression at the hands of a democratically elected government must stop!

For comment:

Axolile Notywala – 074 386 1584
General Secretary
Social Justice Coalition

Mandisa Dyantyi – 079 654 8466
Deputy General Secretary
Social Justice Coalition