Four-year-old child dies in Ekuphumeleleni, death threats continue

27 June 2018
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Four-year-old child dies in Ekuphumeleleni, death threats continue

A four-year-old boy was tragically killed by electrocution on Monday in our Ekuphumeleleni branch. Khanyisani Dlamini was playing with his friends when he slipped and fell on a live electric wire. He died on the scene.

The community in Ekuphumeleleni occupied vacant RDP houses after there was gross corruption in the allocation process. The community took this decision after all attempts to address the blatant corruption in the allocation failed. After the occupation the Municipality refused to allow services to be provided so it was decided to make self-organised connections to water and electricity. The Municipality tried to evict the community but the movement was able to prevent the eviction. 

Our position as a movement is that we fully support self-organised connections to electricity, water and sanitation when these services are not provided by the state, or are removed by the state. In the case of electricity we support ‘Operation Khanyisa’ – the organised installation of electricity on a non-commodified and safe basis by trained people using insulated and properly buried cables. We do not support the haphazard installation of electricity on an unsafe basis as this poses a risk to people, especially to children. We note, though, that when there are daily disconnections by the state, or that when an entire community is not organised into a democratic formation, it can become difficult to sustain the safe organisation of access to electricity across a whole settlement.

The Councillor (who is known as ‘Khekhe’) in the area has made it clear that he will not allow Abahlali to organise in the ward, which he calls ‘his ward’. According to the community he said that there can’t be two bulls in the same kraal (referring to himself and S’bu Zikode, our movement’s President). The Councillor has openly made threats that if we convene a meeting in Ekuphumeleleni ‘we will see something we have not seen’.

Khekhe has been sending threatening messages to people in our movement. We have recordings of these messages. He has worked closely with gangster Councillors including Nqola, the Councillor now serving a life sentence for the assassination of Thuli Ndlovu, our former chairperson in KwaNdengezi. Khekhe now works closely with Nada, the Councillor of Ward 15 where S’fiso Ngcobo, our former chairperson in the Ekukhanyeni occupation, in Marianhill was recently assassinated.

It seems clear to us that the Councillors are getting a clear mandate from above, from people like the Mayor, to try and crush our movement.

Khekhe is aware that we are going to be addressing the issues of the community on 7 July. The community is currently facing evictions that target them individually. We believe that there is a clear political aspect to these individually targeted evictions. When these individually targeted evictions happen there are unknown vehicles patrolling and waiting nearby. Comrades in the area feel that the evictions are a trap to lure our leaders into a place where they can be attacked. Our leaders were also warned by local comrades that it was not safe to visit the family after Khanyisani Dlamini was electrocuted.

We have been informed that there are people who are planning an attack on the leadership of the movement on the 7th. The leadership of the movement was unable to visit the family of the child who died as a result of these threats.

We are not afraid. We cannot stop the struggle for land and dignity because of a councillor who’s obsessed with keeping people poor. We have all taken the decision that we are willing to give our lives for this struggle.


Xolani Khambule 071 028 2774
Thapelo Mohapi 062 892 5323
Mqapheli Bonono 073 067 3273