Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement
The Makause Informal Settlement Forum in Primrose, Ekurhuleni was overthrown today by the local ANC with the support of the SAPS. The Makause Forum is an independent structure that had been democratically elected to represent the community. Some individual members of the committee have links to the ISN but the committee as a whole remains independent. The overthrow of another community structure by an ANC mob, backed with police support, brings back painful memories for Abahlali baseMjondolo and we are in full solidarity with the Makause Forum. We call on comrades in Johannesburg to show active support to the comrades in Makause and for everyone in this country who calls themselves a democrat to insist that the poor have the full right to organise themselves autonomously from the ANC if that is their wish. This insistence remains useless for as long as it remains abstract and something spoken about in conferences. Solidarity must be concrete, a living force on the ground.
Text Message Diary of Alfred Moyo, one of the community leaders of Makause Informal Settlement Development Forum, Primrose, Ekurhuleni
- Course of events leading to the local ANC ousting the active community leadership, with the help of the police
30 May 2011 (evening) – I’m still well and alive. Thanks for the drafted message on AbM website, I had an early voice recorded interview with the AbM member and received a call from Kate (Tissington, SERI) after seeing it on AMB web. Thanks very much for the solidarity, support, assistance and any great efforts to aid is highly appreciated. ‘More Fire’ – Aluta Continua.
11 June 2011 (afternoon) – The struggle continues, I’m currently coordinating two major projects and a third one is to start on Monday (high mast lighting, 148 trees felling and comprehensive cleaning / waste removal) while also waiting the approval of the proposal to the SDI for the water pipe and other materials for the water project (without the municipality). Those three projects were the election campaign jobs for the ANC cadres. All the projects as community as we want them, they’ll create a non-divided society mixed gender about 154 jobs will be benefitting the community of Makause through the Makause leadership, non party political. ANC misled and used the community, and are now trying to join me.
15 June 2011 (evening) – This coming I’ve a meeting with the Tree Cutting Contractor to sort out some challenges for the project’s sake.
19 June 2011 (morning) – The ANC is calling a community meeting for the election of the new leadership to overthrow the current leadership, they are mobilising based on the same allegations. I’m not available to attend as I’m attending the UJ conference which started yesterday till tomorrow, but I saw and heard them loud-hailing on my way out to catch the taxi to Khanya College where today’s session will be held.
19 June 2011 (lunch time) – Latest: the ANC group have stopped the tree cutting project saying they are the leadership of the area and they don’t know me or anything about the project in the settlement.
19 June 2011 (evening) – The meeting (of the ANC) was not properly planned, coordinated, supported and attended, so the election was postponed for next Sunday (26th), they are waiting for the aid of the SACP and they also threatened the community with the Red Ants by Friday.
19 June 2011 (evening) – Yes, Primrose branch in Ward 21 Ekurhuleni. The PCO Office is in Alberton, they said they are going to call the Red Ants themselves and their main target is me, as they heard I’m coordinating it, so they tell the workers that I ran away knowing that the project should be stopped today.
24 June (morning) – Latest: the ANC bid to overthrow us is still ongoing but this time the community is seeing through the negative motives. On Wednesday afternoon I called an urgent mass meeting to inform the community about their intentions, aims and objectives about all these allegations and also about development programmes made by the current leadership as far as the land negotiation is concerned. Yesterday they (ANC) called a mass meeting to try to mobilise the community for an illegal march to disturb the office opening for the Councillor. The community never followed as they follow us.
24 June 2011 (evening) – Today, I challenged the Germiston hospital for the case of an indigent family whom the hospital was refusing to give the body of their loved one who passed on – was to be buried over this weekend, but the hospital demanded R1 160, owed by the dead person and her daughter, so my involvement came with an argument of releasing the body by Monday to be buried, by an Indigent Policy of the hospital to motivate for that and to forget unpaid bills. Tomorrow ANC is electing new leadership to overthrow the Development Forum and Monday they bring the Red Ants to destroy shacks and attack us, as they are mobilising the community.
25 June 2011 (evening) – Latest: Primrose SAPS has joined the ANC in a bid to overthrow the Development Forum. Today the SAPS van was loud-hailing ANC meeting tomorrow for the election of new leadership to take up the office and Absalom Budeli, the failed ANC ward candidate has been promising and recruiting some patrol members (organising the patrol has been our initiative) to join them as they’ve a budget for them to run the office, and on Monday they’ll be joined by SAPS and Red Ants to destroy people’s homes. The current leadership won’t even attend such a meeting, as SAPS has started such threats before and they were reported to SERI. We have our meeting on Monday with other organisations, solidarity support.
26 June 2011 (noon) – We’re under attack from the ANC.
26 June 2011 (late afternoon) – Today ANC helped by SAPS led the mob from the sports grounds to our offices to force us to attend their meeting. The mob was mobilised to attack and destroy our container office donated to us by DRD Gold-SA. But they also sent the SAPS to demand that we attend their meeting. The SAPS arrived at our container office before the mob, so the mob couldn’t attack us. We went to the meeting with the SAPS. After holding corrupt elections, they demanded the container office keys from me through SAPS (Sector Crime Forum Manager Mr/Inspector Mhlaku who was loud hailing yesterday for today’s meeting). We had no option but to hand over the keys. The police came in big numbers to witness the ANC overthrowing us, they failed to call off the meeting as we had requested of them.
26 June 2011 (evening) – Latest: ANC has informed the SAPS about today’s event through a letter they submitted to them a week ago, and the list of the candidates were already drafted, so today it was about taking over the office keys and they tried to demand our documents but we refused on that. The SAPS acting station commander is the person who approved today’s craziness. They are actually trying to disturb our land negotiations which are at provincial level. They made threats of burning our shacks and starting attacks on Somalians’ shops (xenophobia) in front of the SAPS. Tomorrow I’ll be at SERI for advice on this (after first following up on the hospital case). In connection with our container office, we will request DRD Gold-SA to repossess it. Our challenge is to remobilise the community as it is now divided. Patrick Magebula from ISN has been planning to visit Makause tomorrow (for the project of water pipes), but we’re not sure with the current situation.
Contact: Alfred Moyo (General) – 0734307006, firstname.lastname@example.org