Diakonia Condemns the Ongoing Attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo

Diakonia Council of Churches Press Statement
21 November 2009

Diakonia Council of Churches condemns the ongoing attacks and targeting
of homes, property and lives of members of Abahlali baseMjondolo

Last night, the homes of members of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), two of the
original Kennedy Six, were attacked and demolished by the same mob of
people who continuously and repeatedly perpetrate these deeds on known
members of the organisation.

Despite many phone calls to the Sydenham Police Station to intervene, not
one person has been arrested for the attacks.

Diakonia Council of Churches condemns these ongoing attacks in the
strongest possible terms. The Council furthermore condemns the inaction of
the police, and the silence from our government on this issue.

The Council, along with numerous church leaders, activists, academics, other
faith groups and partner organisations, and sympathetic voices around the
world, have repeatedly called for an independent judicial inquiry to be
established into the events around 26 September when members of AbM
were attacked and thousands displaced. This call has, to date, not been
heeded by government.

The Council now calls upon our elected leaders to immediately
intervene and to halt all further targeting of AbM; to immediately
establish a judicial inquiry comprising independent voices, including
representatives of the faith community and other civil organisations;
and to immediately commence with investigations and the prosecutions
of those who continue to harass, attack and threaten the lives and
property of members of AbM.

The Council notes with deepest dismay the silence and inaction of
government, of our city officials and of the local ANC leadership, and remain
unconvinced that the same are not complicit in the orchestration and
execution of the ongoing terrorisation, eviction and destruction which is being
perpetrated in our informal settlements, including Kennedy Road, Motala
Heights, Amaoti and Pemary Ridge, where AbM have established themselves

The Council is committed to the preservation of our democracy, for the sake
of all South Africans.

Roland Vernon

Cell: 074 311 0000
Office: +27 31 310 3551
Fax: +27 31 310 3501