The Battle of Foreman Road

By November 2005 Abahlali were ready to take on the mayor, Obed Mlaba. A march was scheduled from the Foreman Road settlement. The City Manager, a former Marxist academic, issued a diktat illegally banning the march. After careful discussion at a mass meeting it was decided to go ahead with the march. As people left the settlement they were savagely attacked by the police. There were 45 arrests and a number of serious injuries. System Cele, a young woman from Kennedy Road who had worked on the Hear Our Cries pamphlet, had her front teeth broken. The savagery of the police attack, and a fight back with stones that kept the police from entering the settlement, became a major national and then international story featuring on Al Jazeera and resulting in a full page article in the New York Times. The police attack in Foreman Road was quickly followed by illegal evictions from the nearby Lusaka settlement. The ban on Abahlali marching or protesting outside of the settlements stayed in force until late February the following year.

Flyer for the Foreman Road March on the Mayor:
foreman_rd.doc  74 KB

Abahlali Press Release on the Banning of the March:
smash sutcliffe 2.doc   25.5 KB

Freedom of Expression Institute Letter to the Municipality on the Banning of the March:
FXI_Letter_Ethekwini_Municipality.doc  47.5 KB

SABC and eTV video coverage of the Battle of Foreman Road
SABC1 News in Zulu
eTV News in English

IndyMedia Stories on the Battle of Foreman Road:

Photographs by Todd McPhearson & Raj Patel:,43,10,2291,43,10,2294

Article from The Mercury on the Battle of Foreman Road:

Freedom of Expression Institute Statement on the Police Attack:

The Lusaka Eviction: 'Starting from scratch after forced removal' by Anna Weekes plus background and pictures: