Abahlali to hold Memorial Service for baby Khwezi Mlingo

11 July 2019
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement

Abahlali to hold Memorial Service for baby Khwezi Mlingo

At 12 pm tomorrow Abahlali baseMjondolo members will hold a Memorial Service for baby Khwezi at the eNkanini land occupation in Cato Manor. Baby Khwezi Mlingo was burnt to ashes on Tuesday at 8pm after a candle fell causing a shack fire that took her life and injured her two siblings. This community, like many shack communities, does not have formal access to water and electricity.

For too long now Abahlali have been serving our life sentence in the shacks, without the basic services that can keep people safe, a life sentence handed by the ANC government. The City has vowed never to render any services to Abahlali settlements as long as the ANC is still in charge of government. This decision was taken since Nigel Gumede and Obed Mlaba were mayors of Durban and it has been continued till today. Anyone who rebels against the corruption and violence of the ANC, against the indignity in which the ruling party forces us to live, is denied access to basic services and housing. 

We are being punished and blacklisted for exposing corrupt and gangster councillors and mayors who are looting the municipalities. We are excluded from development because we have organised so many successful land occupations, and because we are committed to self-management and revolutionary democracy.

Many of our leaders have been assassinated. Even our children continue to perish at the bloody hands of the ANC. Mhlengi Khumalo who was killed in a shack fire in Kennedy Road settlement in 2005. Baby Jayden Khoza who was teargased to death in Foreman Road settlement after a protest for electrification of settlement in 2017. These children are innocent. They came into the world with the same beauty and possibility as all other children. The contempt that the ANC has for impoverished black people took their lives and robbed their families of what was most precious to them.

They could have become Presidents, or artists, or intellectuals, or loving parents. Instead their lives were taken by the politic of contempt. This is oppression and we will continue to rebel against oppression until there is respect for the lives and dignity of every human beings.

We know if these were the children of Cyril Ramaphosa or Sihle Zikalala something would have been done to prevent the loss of their lives.

Yesterday, the City’s disaster management officials, the local councillor and Mbulelo
Baloi, the spokesperson for the KZN MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works, visited the tragedy scene as if they were going to do something for the family. But as usual neither the City nor the MEC are prepared to honestly engage Abahlali or the family on this tragedy. We are on our own. Baby Khwezi is no more while these politicians enjoy long glasses of wine paid for with tenders from the city, tenders won with our blood, and greedily consumed at the cost of our dignity and safety.

Baby Khwezi will be laid to rest on Sunday, 14 July at the family home in Ilovu, South of Durban. She will be buried with the dignity that she deserves, the dignity that she was denied in life by the ANC.

We will never know the woman that she could have become. But we will know justice. They can’t kill us all and the struggle is growing stronger.


Vusi Mazula: +27 73 56 76512
Nomsa Sizani: +27 81 005 3686
Zanele Mtshali: +27 62 437 9077
Thabile Makhoba: +27 63 165 8182