29 November 2010
Today, 12 members of Abahlali baseMjondolo from Kennedy Road will be in court following more than a year of delays in this clearly political murder trial.
We would like to declare our full solidarity with our Poor People’s Alliance partner during these trying times.
More than a year ago, the Shackdwellers Movement was attacked by an armed mob affiliated with the local ANC. They chased away members of the movement from a youth camp and began demolishing peoples homes. Community members defended themselves and, during the violent clash that resulted in the early hours of the morning, two people died and dozens were hurt. When the sun rose, police arrived and arrested 13 members of Abahlali baseMjondolo (all amapondo) whether or not they were even present in Kennedy Road during the attacks. No one from the armed mob was arrested and police stood by when the mob mobilised once again to destroy the houses of the Abahlali leadership. For a more detailed investigation into the events, see this paper by Kerry Chance who interviewed over 100 residents of Kennedy Road.
Because this trial has become political with ANC leaders putting pressure on the justice system, we know that the trial has not and will not be fair and just. We only hope that the judge will reconise the political nature of this trial and recognise our humanity as the poor is not less than the humanity of the rich and politically well-connected. More background on the political nature of the case can be found here.
For more information on the trial, please contact Abahlali baseMjondolo at:
031 304 6420 (Office)
082 830 2707 (Ms Zodwa Nsibande)
074 730 8120 (Ms Bandile Mdlalose)
You may contact the Anti-Eviction Campaign for comment at:
078 580 8646 (Mncedisi Twalo)
072 392 5859 (Gary Hartzenberg)