Another 18 People Arrested in Umlazi, Durban

Update – 25 June 3:30 p.m. The charges against Bheki Buthelezi have been dropped and the Zakheleni 18 have been released without bail. They are scheduled to appear again on the 16th of July.

24 June 2012
Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement

Another 18 People Arrested in Umlazi, Durban

Last night when the comrades from Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Unemployed People's Movement were protesting outside the Umlazi Police Station to demand the immediate release of Bheki Buthelezi the police said that they would be making further arrests to 'stop the burning of tyres in Umlazi'. They made the same threat to Bheki as he was released at the Adam's Mission Police Station far from the protest.

At the same time as Bheki returned home to the welcome of a large crowd the police went to the Zakheleni shack settlement in Ward 88, Umlazi. There they found a party to celebrate the birthday of a 14 year old child. This party was peaceful. No one in the settlement had complained and no one had called the police. The police arrested 18 people at this party. Some of the 18 have been involved in protests. Others have not been involved in the ongoing revolt in Ward 88. The 18 have all been charged with public violence which is the standard charge that the police use against activists. They are currently being held in the Umlazi Police Station. It is assumed that they will appear in court tomorrow but the police have not confirmed this.

It is clear that the the police are acting on behalf of the local ANC to crush the ongoing rebellion in Ward 88 in Umlazi.

For further information and comment please contact:

Bheki Buthelezi, Unemployed People's Movement, Durban: 072 639 9893
Ayanda Kota, Unemployed People's Movment, Grahamstown: 078 625 6462
Mnikelo Ndabankulu, Abahlali baseMjondolo, Durban: 081 309 5485