Category Archives: Lungile Mgube

Letters from Kennedy Road

March 24, 2007
To the Editor, The Daily Sun

Dear Editor

On Wednesday 21 March, Human Rights Day, the police came to attack the people of the Kennedy Road settlement. It was about three in the morning. They kicked down people’s doors without knocking and asked for everybody’s names in each house. If your name was one they were looking for they just put you in their van.

The police don’t treat us right here at Kennedy. Everybody knows how they attack us when we try and march and how to punish us for marching they always arrest us, make us stay in the cells and come to court 4 or 5 times before dropping the charges. But they do other things too. They come to raid at night saying they are looking for dagga and stolen goods. When they raid they hit us, they insult us, they mess our houses up, they make the men do press ups and they steal our money and cell phones. They tell us that if we don’t give them our money they will arrest us. Because the police treat us like we are all criminals and because most of the police are themselves criminals we have our own Safety & Security Forum. This team is chosen to deal with crime in the community.

Here in Kennedy we have a runner who is running everyday. His name is Khanyile. One day some few weeks ago while he was running a criminal unknown to Khanyile attacked him. The criminal took his R800 takkies and an expensive watch that Khanyile had won in the Comrades Marathon. He wasn’t satisfied with taking the takkies and the watch though – he also stabbed 18 holes into the poor man.

Khanyile reported the matter to the Safety and Security and Forum. They advised the poor man to report the matter to the police and they asked the community to report to them if anyone knew or heard anything. Khanyile opened the case with the police.

Here at Kennedy we have a well known criminal. I can’t mention his name because he is a dangerous man but everyone knows who he is. During the investigation by Safety and Security it come out that the criminal who stabbed Khanyile was a man from Ntuzuma who was a friend of the criminal in Kennedy Road. The Safety and Security team went to ask the Kennedy Road criminal if this was true. He admitted it and promised to bring him to the team.

Later he bought that man to the community. Khanyile identified the man as the criminal was stabbed him 18 holes. The criminal admitted that he had done it and was very arrogant. Some people in the community became angry and began to hit the criminal. Safety and Security called the police to come and fetch the criminal. The police did come and fetch him and they were hitting him and kicking him as he got into the van. That was all in February.

Now the police came back on Human Rights day claiming that the Safety & Security killed the man. First they arrested 10 people then they released 1. The community quickly gathered to march and show their anger. Again the police came to arrest more people shooting and spraying tear-gas on them. Just imagine that on Human Rights Day here at Kennedy people were abused and brutalized by the police. The same thing happened on Human Rights Day two years ago. Is this a day that we must fear? If rights are for all humans then it is clear that for some people we are not humans.

Today it is Saturday. Yesterday the people taken by the police appeared in court for a crime they didn’t commit. The reason I’m saying this is because if the man died in the van or on the following day then why didn’t the police come back then? If they were busy that day why didn’t they come back on the following day? It is because they needed all this time to think of the lies that they were going to lay against the Kennedy people. So the case is coming back to court this coming Friday. The police said that they still need time to prove these people guilty. When are the police going to stop fighting with us for nothing? The worst then is that the man who stabbed 18 times reported the case and they did nothing. They didn’t investigate the case. Now that man is one of the arrested! They still want to arrest more people. They must tell the truth of what they did to the dead man in their van and in their cells. They broke my teeth when I was on a march which is my human right. That march was just starting. We hadn’t hurt anybody but they broke my teeth. Now they are trying to hide behind the people of Kennedy so that they don’t get caught for what they did to this criminal.

System Cele, Kennedy Road, 0721067291



Ngomsombuluko ekuseni amaphoyisa ashaqe labantu kanye namalunga amanye omphakathi ngelokubulala isigebengu emphakathini .Isigebengu esagwaza ilunga lomphakathi amanxeba awu-18 wonke umzimba .0kushaqisa umzimba okwabantwana abane ona-6-4abafanyana kanye namantombazanyana ano2-1 iminyaka yabo.Uma kuzwala isigebengu sathelekelwa umphakathi ngenkathi sibonakala.

Okuyindida ngalendaba isigebengu sathathwa amaphoyisa sisaphila okuwukuthi safela epolice station okuwukuthi akaziwa ngampela umbulali .omakhelwane abaze basiza ngokulekelela ekubhekeni abantwana bekhala befuna unina noyise befakwe ozankosi eyedwa ofuna ukudla omunye ibele sekucwaza nje egcekeni .kodwa umphathi steshi ubuye wazishaya esebona labantwana wadedelwa umama obikele isolezwe ngumakhelwane oyise abantwana epolice station.


Lungile Mgube, eKennedy, 0730149554


March 24, To The Mercury

Dear Editor

Again the police arrested innocent people at the Kennedy Road settlement.

They took 10 members from the community. This was worst for Delisile who was taken with her husband. Her husband is sick and she care for 5 children one of which is cery sick. The children were just when the police took Delisile. But they neighbours looked after them. When the other crèche teachers went to the Sydenham Police Station with the children to ask who must look after they children now they were not recognized the police chased them away. There are two babies one aged 2years and the other one is16 months. But the teachers from the crèche just went back again the next day. They stayed there with the children crying until the police let Delisile go on.

The human rights day was a sad day to the Kennedy SHACKDWELLERS.

The other members are still inside. We are trying to get the bail for those members who are inside for no reason.
Last year they arrested the president and his vice because they are trying by all means to undermine the ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO movement. That’s why we celebrated UNFREEDOM DAY on APRIL 27 last year instead of FREEDOM DAY, because there is no freedom for the poor.

We are deciding to celebrate another UNFREEDOM DAY this year. They want us to be stay quiet while they chase us out of the city and out of the schools and away from everything a person needs. We will continue to speak loudly because what they are doing is wrong. We are all human beings.

Zandile Nsibande, Kennedy Road, 0826584080


To Daily News on 24 March

Dear Editor

I write this letter because I want to tell you about our struggle. Our struggle is a good struggle.

In Kennedy road it is crisis because the police arrested our comrades. They took them early in the morning at about 4: 30am to the Sydenham police station. They hit them. Others were taken while their kids were left at their homes with no food.

We try to march they shoot us and we ran back to the hall to come up with a solution that is going to help us to take our people out of the prison.

So I’ll appreciate it if you will put my story in the front page because it will show that the police don’t do their work properly and I want you to make sure that the whole world has that story.

I want them to get punishment for what they have done to us.

Yours truly,
Constance Smith, Kennedy Road, 0760884294



Dear Editor

This letter is about the crisis that happen at the Kennedy Road Settlement where the Police arrested nine innocent members of Abahlali baseMjondolo because they caught a guy who robbed & stabbed one of ABM members who live in Kennedy Road . The victim was running at the time to train for the Comrades Marathon.

The name of the victim is Thina Khanyile. According to him this guy came to him with a knife and stabbed him to take his running shoes and watch. Luckily his God saved him.
He managed to get back to the community and to get help although he was very seriously injured. They call an ambulance and it takes him to the Hospital.

On Wednesday morning 3’oclock the Police from Sydenham Police Station arrested innocent people including the victim of the stabbing Thina Khanyile! They also arrested Delisile, S’thembiso, Cibane and others. Four of those people were looking after kids that were just left with no one looking after them. In Delisile’s family one of the children was sick at from and another one has been admitted in hospital. That was very sad.

As I said those people are innocent. They never kill the criminal. The police from the police station killed him because when they took him from the shacks he was still alive and they told the people they had done a good job to catch the criminal. Then after two weeks they came and arrested the community members. But the police are covering themselves. We gave the criminal to them even though they have told us that the people we must keep the criminals because they got food to feed them or place to keep them. But that is not good for the community who stay in shacks because we live with all different communities here. We must have peace here. We can’t have criminals here. But they police they call all of us criminals because of some few people who behave like animals.

The police also said that we not going to get houses because we as criminals. They don’t want us to speak about our lives and to march. They want to make wearing a red shirt a crime. But I would like to state very clearly that our Police station was good with the previous Station commander. Then the community was working with the police. He treated us like citizens of this country and understood that we don’t want the criminals. He didn’t see us as all the same. There was a respect. But Nayager, he treats us like we are all criminals. But everyone knows that Nayager is a criminal. Now what are we supposed to do?

Sindy Mkhize, Kennedy Road, 0737309648


24 March, To The Sowetan

Dear Editor

I live in Foreman Road. 0n the 21st of March I saw the people of Kennedy Road fighting with the police of Sydenham. I didn’t know why the police of Sydenham were fighting with the people again. They always fail to arrest the thieves that rob us but I saw them shooting with their guns straight to the people. I don’t know what they use is of the police in Sydenham of they always fail to protect the people from criminals but are always fighting with innocent people. What are they there for? If we had no police then we would just have to worry about criminals and nor the criminals and the police. The criminals they can only hurt us in the dark. The police they can just shoot us straight with the gun in the day in front of everyone.
So I need to know where we must go to report the bad things that happen to the community. Where must we go? Must we be more scared of the thieves or the police? The police have arrested four innocent people of Kennedy Road and last year the same people were arresting and beating one resident of Kennedy and one resident of Pemary Ridge, the President and the Vice-President of Abahlali. They arrested these good people and these innocent people without a reason. Where do we report this crime?

Mzwethemba Hontsa, Foreman Road, 0782705847


To iLanga

Sawubona mhleli

Ngevik elidlule sibeneshwa lokuboshwa kwabafowethu
Intathakusa ngezithubazabo 330 ekuseni
Lapho kwathathwa imindeni ayisishiyagalolunye
Beboshwa bengazi lutho futhibengazelele lutho
Okulikhuni yizonazelelesi lamaphoyisa
Asebenzisananezigebengu kuhlukunyezwumpakathi
Angazi ngingenzakanjanilekam ivalwe
Ngoba masithisiyakhala sihlukunyezwekakhulu
Sesicela Unqonqhoshe akuphakamelelokhu
Umphakathi sewenelemanje

Yimi ozithobayo
T.N. Lembede, Kennedy Road, 0766837751


To the Mercury

Dear Editor

On 21 March 2007 at about 3h00 in the morning the police from the Sydenham police station came into the Kennedy Road settlement and started kicking in the doors of the Kennedy leadership. On that morning nine comrades were arrested. They were not told why they were arrested and when they asked they were just handcuffed and told that the reason for their arrest would be explained at the police station. In some of the houses where they could not find the husband they started arresting all the women in the house. The brutal behaviour by the Sydenham police is becoming more serious all the time. At this station every shack dweller is taken as a criminal because we are taken as too poor to be loyal citizens. The fact that the police break our doors in the middle of the night and take us from our families with out even explaining why they are doing this is a clear indication that these police officers have the apartheid style. Their behaviour was inhuman.

As we all know this day on which this terrible incident took place was Human Rights day. It was supposed to be a holiday but we have been saying for a long time that there is no holiday in the jondolos. But it is not just poverty and the worry of poverty that keeps us from being able to relax. We also have to fear that the Sydenham police can break into our houses any time.

Later we were told that the people arrested on Human Rights day have been arrested for the murder of the guy from Ntuzuma who stabbed and robbed a Kennedy Road resident in February 2007. This man died in police custody more than a week after he was apprehended by people in Kennedy Road and handed over to the Sydenham police.

We are all human beings and all of our lives matter. This is one of the foundations of our politics. Because everybody is important all crimes must be investigated. It is especially important that all deaths, including the deaths of the poor, must be investigated carefully and fairly. But what is frightening about these arrests are that they are clearly targeting members of the Kenendy Road Development Committee. The police are making no attempt to find out what really happened to the man from Ntuzuma. They are just using his death as an excuse to arrest the KRDC. This does not surprise us. We know that since we started mobilising for land and housing in the city Supt. Glen Nayager has begun to hate us and to do everything he can to undermine us. He is a police officer – he should be there to protect the people and not be worrying himself about decisions about land and housing. Yet our struggle for land and housing has threatened him and he is trying to squeeze himself into this matter between us and the government and the landowners. But the KRDC has faced all the oppression that has come to us so far in this struggle and we have always come out stronger and more matured in our struggle. We will continue to make ourselves stronger to face what ever challenges and forces intend to destabalize the greater unity of shack dwellers – a unity that is making us a stronger and stronger force in the city and the country. Even now while we are under this pressure our movement continues to grow. Our movement doesn’t grow because we have money. We only have each other and the thinking that we do together. Our movement grows because we are telling the truth about the place of the poor in this country and because we have created a home for the poor to be together while we struggle for what is right.

Our movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, condemns all inhumanity. Our movement, like other movements that create a living politics, exists to work to humanise the world. Therefore it strongly condemns the killing of people. Therefore we call for an investigation into this death. But this investigation must be independent. The role of people in the community and the Sydenham police must be investigated and justice must be done openly and fairly. But we are very clear that the Sydenham police cannot investigate themselves. When we are under pressure from criminals they fail to respond to our calls for help. But when we are trying to use our human rights by marching and speaking they arrest us and beat us. These actions of theirs are illegal and therefore criminal. To put it plainly the Sydenham police do not protect us from criminals but instead come to us as criminals. Some criminals hide in the dark with a knife. Some come with sirens, guns and lights but they are both a danger to the innocent. We therefore insist on TWO independent investigations. The FIRST in an investigation of this death. The SECOND is an investigation of the Sydenham police and in particular the attitude and actions of Nayager. He clearly thinks that he is above the law and that shack dwellers’ are below the law. Actually we are all citizens of one country and are all equal in the law. This is how the law is written. We are struggling to make life as it is lived fit with the law as it is written so that everyone, especially the weakest, has the protection of the law. We know that this will not solve all our problems but at least it will free us to be able to struggle without having to always fear arrest and assault.

S’bu Zikode, Kennedy Road, 0835470474