SAPA: Fund Set Up for Victims

Fund set up for attack victims

2009-09-29 21:48

Durban – The Anglican Bishop of Natal, Bishop Rubin Phillip, on Tuesday announced that his church had set up a relief fund for victims of a Durban informal settlement attack which claimed at least two lives and saw many people displaced.

“Many people have fled their homes with nothing but what they could carry.

“They need urgent financial assistance. I have agreed to co-ordinate a relief fund and donations,”

Two people were fatally assaulted and stabbed, and scores were injured when about 40 men carrying assegais, knobkerries, spears and guns attacked them. They attacked the settlement during a youth camp held by the Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) movement.

‘Democracy under attack’

Local and international academics on Monday condemned attacks.

Phillip said democracy was under attack in Kennedy Road.

“I was torn with anguish when I first heard of the unspeakable brutality that has raged down on to the Kennedy Road shack settlement.”

He said he had in recent years spent many hours in the Kennedy Road settlement.

“I’ve attended meetings, memorials, mass ecumenical prayers and marches. I have had the honour of meeting some truly remarkable people in the settlement and the work of Abahlali baseMjondolo,”

‘Support from local ANC’

Philip described the driving out hundreds of families out of the settlement by the attackers as a profound disgrace to our democracy.

“There are credible claims that this militia has acted with the support of the local ANC structures. This, also, is cause for the most profound concern.”

He said he was also concerned that the police had failed to arrest the perpetrators.

“I will take my anger and my fear for the future of our democracy to the highest levels of leadership in our country and to our sister churches around the world. I encourage others to do the same.”

He said he would also write a letter to President Jacob Zuma asking him to intervene.