Statement on Threats Made to S’bu Zikode

Statement on Threats Made to S'bu Zikode

When we heard that eThekweni Mayor, James Nxumalo, agreed to meet with a delegation from the shackdwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), we were hopeful that a new page was being turned. Perhaps now there can be meaningful engagement between the organised poor and the City of Durban.

But if there is to be real progress, then the actions of Nigel Gumede (Chairperson of the Housing and Infrastructure Portfolio Committee) in that meeting must be condemned. Gumede made angry and violent threats against S'bu Zikode, AbM Chairperson. We must insist that for genuine partnership to be built, it must be on the basis of respect for all people. The fragile prospects of new beginnings in Durban cannot be undermined by Gumede's ongoing hostility and disrespect. This sort of behaviour cannot be allowed to impede the full flowering of our democracy.

Issued by: Bishop Rubin Phillip,
Bishop of the Diocese of Natal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
Date: 18 October 2011

Endorsed by: Church Land Programme with unanimous support from all participants at the Diakonia Council of Churches reflection day on prophetic ministry, being held today at Marianhill, KZN.