Category Archives: The Kennedy 5

Statement from the kwaZulu-Natal Church Leaders’ Group on the Ongoing Intimidation in Kennedy Road

This statement was released on 26 April 2010


As church leaders in KwaZulu Natal, we have noted a public statement (see footnote) released by the shack dweller’s movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo on Tuesday 20 April 2010. This statement makes explicit the continued, criminal and violent intimidation of members of Abahlali in Kennedy Road by elements of the ruling party, the ANC. This violence, oppression and intimidation continues the sustained attack on Abahlali in Kennedy Road, the low-light of which was surely the organised and violent attack launched in the night on September 28th of last year. We are not just disturbed by Abahlali’s most recent statement, we are outraged and we cannot remain silent.

While the official state calendar focuses on the celebration of ‘Freedom Day’ on 27 April, the anguished but powerful voice of the organised poor tells us in no uncertain terms that our country is marked more by un-freedom than freedom for the masses of the poor.

In our Christian calendar, so soon after Easter, we are especially mindful of Jesus’ resurrection at this time. What the few faithful women and then the disciples were witness to, was the force of life over death in the resurrected body of Christ. This is the basis of our freedom, our hope. Christ’s body was marked cruelly with the scars of his death at the hands of an oppressive regime determined to silence his promises of justice and life for the poor. The life of the resurrected Christ is present in the world when members of the body continue to live out that promise of life and justice, against the forces of death and injustice. We thank God for the brave and truthful fidelity of movements like Abahlali baseMjondolo which keep the hope of the resurrection alive and present in our world of death and injustice.

The injustice of the violence against, and the intimidation of, the poor must cease – specifically, by members of the ANC leadership against Nozuko Hulushe and her family, and members of Abahlali in Kennedy Road.

The injustice of detaining people in prison with no evidence being led against them must cease – specifically, the holding of five Abahlali members in Westville prison for six months.

Abahlali concluded their press release by reiterating their consistent call for an independent and credible commission of inquiry into the attack and ongoing intimidation in Kennedy Road. As the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders’ Group, we continue to support this demand and give our full backing to Bishop Rubin Phillip’s current initiative to get such a Commission under way as soon as possible. The truth must be told.

Bishop Rubin Phillip

Chair: Kwa-Zulu Natal Church Leaders Group and Anglican Bishop of Natal (KZN)

26th April 2010

For more information: Tracy Kotiah at

For the full text of their statement see