The Star: Clergy pray for Kennedy Road murder accused

Clergy pray for Kennedy Road murder accused

November 18 2009 at 06:57PM

By Kamini Padayachee

Clergy from the Diakonia Council of Churches gathered outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to pray for 13 people charged with killing two men at the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Sydenham, Durban.

The council has come out in support of the 13 men, claiming that police had falsely arrested the members of shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Anglican Bishop Rubin Phillip said the police had arrested victims of violence at the settlement, instead of the perpetrators.

“The militia that have driven the Abahlali baseMjondolo leaders and hundreds of families out of the settlement is a profound disgrace to our democracy. The fact that the police have systematically failed to act against this militia, while instead arresting the victims of their violence and destruction, is cause for the gravest concern.”

The men are charged with two counts each of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and additional charges of public violence and malicious damage to property in connection with a September 26 attack at the settlement, in which two people were killed.

The men have all applied for bail, which Magistrate B Mbulawa would rule on later this month.