Abahlali in ekuRhuleni are under attack

Tuesday 21 November 2019
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali in ekuRhuleni are under attack

We, Abahlali, are fighting for better lives and for people’s rights. We are fighting for land and dignity. It is unfortunate and very disrespectful to see that our rights are violated each and every day by our government.

The government’s duty is to make sure that every human is satisfied with the realisation of every right written in the Bill of Rights. Our government is working to achieve the opposite of that. 

We say this with regard to the situation at Vusimuzi, in Ward 90 in Tembisa, ekuRhuleni. The Municipality, along with supporters of the ward councillor, Hendrick Selwana, are attacking and destroying people’s homes. When we mobilise to stop the attacks we are threatened with violence. When we went to court the order of the court was just ignored.

Yesterday, our leader Melita Ngcobo was assaulted, arrested and then jailed. She has been denied medical attention. What has become of our world, our nation for abusing and violating women’s rights, as well as human rights?

South Africa is facing a very painful and difficult situation of femicide – the killing of women. It is very shameful to see our government doing the same thing we are fighting against. Nqobile Nzuza was murdered by the police during a Abahlali baseMjondolo protest in Cato Manor in Durban in 2013. In 2014 Thuli Ndlovu, the Abahlali baseMjondolo chairperson in KwaNdengezi in Durban, was murdered on the order of two ANC councillors.

Yesterday there were more demolitions of homes. At around 10:00 Melita Ngcobo was arrested for standing up to a government that attacks poor black people in violation of the law, and a court order. She was standing up for our dignity as human beings, and for justice. Instead of defending her the police stood by while she was assaulted by supporters of the councillor. They then arrested her, detained her and denied her medical attention.

The ANC is contradicting itself. President Ramaphosa and police Minister Cele have committed themselves to ensure that the government works to stop gender-based violence. Yet the very same organs of the state that are supposed to protect women in our country are violating their rights.

We need those who performed the assault on our comrade Melita to be arrested, prosecuted and jailed. We need the police who stood by without defending her, and then arrested her and denied her medical attention to be fully and fairly investigated. We need true leaders not gangsters.

Melita is still in police custody. We are told that she has been charged and that she will appear in court tomorrow. When she enters the dock she will see red everywhere, and she will know that she is not alone.

Rise Melita Ngcobo Rise!

Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo!

ekuRhuleni! Aluta continua!

For more information please contact:

Jabu Qwabe: 073 136 6148
Olitter Maphela: 063 580 5739
Nomsa Sizani: 081 005 3686