Abahlali baseMjondolo and Rural Network Press update
5 December 2008 at 19h55pm
(Click here to see the press alerts from the previous day)
Latest on eMacambini:
- 10 residents of eMacambini were arrested and charged with “public violence” linked to yesterday’s road blockade. However, some of those arrested, including two school-age children, were not involved in the road blockade, but were arrested at their homes.
- Among those arrested, 5 were held at the Nyoni police station, and 5 were held at the Gingindlovu police station. They appeared in separate courts. All have been released on bail. The 10 accused will reappear in the same court – Mthunzini Court – but on separate dates – the 12th and the 18th of January 2009.
- According to residents, police shot indiscriminately at bystanders after the blockade was disbanded, and chased people back to their homes while firing rubber bullets and metal pellets. Many were shot at close range.
- People did throw stones at the police but in self defence and only after they were attacked by the police
- The police, which residents report came from outside the immediate area, from Mfolozi and as far as Stanger, were responsible for the shooting.
- Police reportedly kicked down the doors of people’s homes, entered and shot at them inside. Some residents, including women and children were hiding under their beds when police entered and shot at them.
- Among those arrested for “public violence,” three were seriously injured and were held in jail overnight, and have still not been seen by a doctor as of this afternoon. Two of those arrested and seriously injured were school-age children. The first, age 17, sustained injuries in custody to both his knees by police batons. The second, age 18, sustained injuries while in custody to his face from the butt of a gun. He was also beaten by police with a wooden plank on the arm, and shot with a rubber bullet in the knee. Another man, who was arrested along with the school-age children, was injured by a rubber bullet in the upper arm.
- The school-age children who were arrested were not part of the road blockade. They were in their homes while the blockade was unfolding. When they heard shooting and saw police chasing residents, they went outside to see what was happening. The police shot at them. They were then arrested, and assaulted by police inside the caspirs and vans that transported them to the police station. At no point were they told why they had been arrested.
- Another man who had not been involved with the blockade was assaulted with pepper spray. A police officer reportedly grabbed him from behind, with his arm around the man’s neck, and sprayed him close to the eyes with pepper spray.
A Mass Prayer will be held this Sunday, December 7, 2008, at the eMacambini Sports Ground.
There will be further action against the threatened forced removal of 10 000 families.
Moffat Chili: 073 409 8625
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Herbert Mbambo: 082 309 1637
Bheki Lushozi: 083 885 1448
Shando: 083 684 4562