Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Conference in the Wake of the Attacks on Kennedy Road, SAUPM Office, 7 October 2009

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Conference, held at the offices of the South African Unemployed People s Movement, 7 October 2009

This was the first public event held by Abahlali baseMjondolo following the attacks at Kennedy Road. The room was packed to capacity with journalists. Abahlali members distributed a written account and statement about the attacks, spoke to the journalists, and answered any and all questions. At the time of the press conference, articles in the press were quoting heavily from a statement issued by the MEC for Transport and the Deputy Provincial Police Commissioner. The statement called the movement, Abantu baseMjondolo . It said that Abahlali had been terrorizing the Kennedy Road community, that people were unable to cook, watch television or walk on the street after a 7pm curfew. These are all outright lies. At the time of the press conference, other lies had been printed: that Abahlali had killed people, that Abahlali was a criminal organization, that Abahlali was trying to stop development, that the Abahlali President was a taxi boss living in Umhlanga. This press conference was an effort to intervene with the truth of what happened.