Sowetan: Call for release of ‘Kennedy Road 13’

Call for release of ‘Kennedy Road 13’
20 November 2009
Mary Papayya

Anglican bishop and KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council chairperson Ruben Phillip has called for the immediate release of the “Kennedy Road 13”.

The 13, who were arrested after the September attacks on the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban, are members of the homeless movement Abahlali baseMjondolo.

On Wednesday they made their 6th appearance in the Durban magistrate’s court for a bail hearing.

Phillip said the proceedings against the 13 were a clear case of “detention without trial”.

“It is clear that the legal process for the Kennedy Road 13 is a complete travesty of justice.” the bishop said.

He said in April he had visited another six members of Abahlali baseMjondolo, who had been on a hunger strike for 14 days at Westville Prison.

“The murder charges that had been trumped up against them were dropped.”

He accused the ANC of having taken a political stand on the matter.

Local government MEC Willies Mchunu visited Kennedy Road soon after the incident in September. He held meetings with some community members and appointed a special task team to probe the conflict.

The Kennedy Road 13 case has been postponed to next Friday.

Meanwhile, a Pinetown magistrate on Monday dropped all charges against another 13 members of Abahlali baseMjondolo arrested at the nearby Pemary Ridge informal settlement.