Re-Launching the Kennedy Road AbM Branch

2 09 2011

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
2 September 2011

In September 2009 the Kennedy Road Development Committee, a structure that was
always subject to annual election with the right to recall ,and which was
working hand in hand with Abahlali baseMjondolo, was expelled from Kennedy Road
by armed members of the ANC. Willies Mchunu then imposed an ANC committee on
the community. He called this the ‘liberation’ of the settlement and said that
the elected structures were ‘illegitimate’ and that the unelected committee
imposed by armed force was ‘legitimate’. The committee imposed by Mchunu did
nothing for the community. Things went from bad to worse. The houses that the
ANC promised after the attack were never built. Read the rest of this entry »

Municipal Security and Shack Dwellers Clash in the Kennedy Road Settlement this Morning Attempt at Armed De-electrification Successfully Resisted

3 07 2011

Sunday 3 July 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

This morning Municipal Security Guards arrived at the Kennedy Road shack settlement and began disconnecting people from electricity. The community had previously negotiated an understanding with the Municipality that they would not send their security guards into the settlement to disconnect. However this morning this agreement was violated and the people resisted the disconnections. There was a confrontation,rubber bullets were fired and stones were thrown. A young man was shot in the chin with a rubber bullet at close range. A road blockade was then organised following which both the SAPS and the Metro Police arrived on the scene. But the attempt to disconnect people from electricity was successfully resisted. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Ethnic tension boils over

4 10 2009
Mail & Guardian

On Monday at 5am Lindela Figlan, huddling with his wife and three-year-old daughter near a bus shelter in Sydenham, Durban, was too terrified to flag down the passing taxis. Read the rest of this entry »

AbM: News from Kennedy Road – solidarity from around the world

1 10 2009

1 October 2009 – AbM Press Release

Friends and comrades

The movement is still under attack in Kennedy Road and the police are still failing to protect us. The settlement is now run by the  chairperson of the local ANC branch, Jackson Gumede, and his armed mob. Gumede is asking people to show ANC cards. Senior people in the ANC and the police continue to offer open and public support for the attacks. None of the people that attacked us and destroyed our homes have been arrested. Many of us are still sleeping in the bush and in the streets. There has been another death in hospital.

Our members from across 34 settlements in Durban, and some from other settlements as far away as Cape Town, will soon meet in a secret location. We will formulate a plan of action and draft and issue a full and official press statement.

Right now, in this emergency statement, some things must be cleared up:

1. Willies Mchunu and Hamiliton Ngidi are claiming that Safety Committee set up in Kennedy Road is some sort of illegitmate and sinister ‘forum’. In fact it was set up in partnership with the local police – they were at the launch and attended its meetings. We have the minutes of all these meetings.
2. Willies Mchunu and Hamiliton Ngidi  are claiming that the Safety Committee implemented a curfew in the settlement and are implying that this justifies the violence against us, the destruction of our homes and the banning of our movement from the settlement on the pain of death. In fact the Committee decided, together with the local police, to set closing times on the shebeens. They had previously been open 24 hours a day. A decision was taken that they must close at 10 in the evening. There were a number of reasons for this decision – problems with noise, requests from the women’s movement within our movement to reduce shebeen hours due to the link with violence against women, the danger of fires when people are drunk etc. But the main reason was that since Jacob Zuma’s campaign ethnic tensions have been rising in the settlements. There have been fights, even murders. These fights are usually linked to alcohol therefore it was neccessary, in order for the safety of the community, to reduce alcohol abuse. This decision was taken by a sub-committee of an elected body and the police were at the meeting were it was taken. This decision was not a rights violation. Those people who didn’t like it (i.e. the shebeen owners) could have nominated their own candidates with their own mandate for election to the KRDC in November (when the next election was scheduled)
3. The ANC is telling people in the settlement that Abahlali is Cope.  This is another lie. We took a No Vote position in the election because all the parties are for the rich and against the poor. Our politics has always been a non-party politics. This is all a matter of public record. But the point is that even if we were COPE (which we arecertainly not) in a democracy you have the right to choose what ever politics you want – irrespective of whether you live in a shack or a house.

We thank everyone for the solidarity rushing to us, and in support for democracy, from around the world.

New Video Interview with S’bu Zikode

Rushed (and Rough) Transcript of an Interview (anonymous of course) with Two Young Women Still Living in Kennedy Road

It’s not just demolishing shacks now, it’s moved to full-scale looting. They takes fridges, TV’s etc, and put them in their shacks.
- when people try to ask about who has taken their stuff, the answer is just ‘the community’ took it
- everyone who has been working at the community hall is associated with ‘the forum’. even people who are working at the drop in center.
- no one can enter the hall without being escorted by Jackson Gumede, senior official in the ward and active ANC members
- Another shack was demolished last night because the mob found out that the shack owner was part of the KRDC. they destroyed the shack, are taking people’s possessions.
- We are so angry about attacks on S’bu, S’bu has done so much for this community, the hall was like a bush before, he erected the drop in center. community is going to miss him. for the past fifteen years, ANC has done nothing, he organized so much, send children to school. we are lost without S’bu. we need those leaders like him. i wish he was the councillor. i don’t konw what we’re going to do without him. there’s now no creche to take the children, the mothers are now staying at home to take care of the kids, can’t work. the people to take care of the people with HIV and AIDS, they are after them now, they don’t care what contribution you made to the community but because you’re not ANC, you’re not amongst them…
- Baig is happy that Sbu is gone, he’s not going to expose that Baig is not doing his job properly.
- they promise to bring SAPS, last night the poeple’s shacks were destroyed but the police were parked at the community hall, they don’t even go down to see what’s happening in the informal settlements. they promised to take care of it but right now they are not there. they said they will be there. we are on our own. it’s risky even for them too. i think  it’s better if they brought the soldiers.
- the councillor is the one who is working the situation, in other places ANC is doing a good job, here Baig doens’t know how it is to live in informal settleents, he doesn’t know how hard it is to sleep without food in your stomach, he never felt that pain, that’s why he’s acting like this. Our sufferings is his victory. Baig is happy when we suffering. he’s getting paid to oppress us. our government is paying baig to oppress us.
- they are opposing everything that is good about south africa – the constitution, the freedom charter.
- People can’t openly say they are Abahlali in Kennedy.
- She had left a bag with a friend, her friend was asked by other community members to ‘choose sides’  – Cope or ANC. people from the community hall/drop in center are called Cope. Why are you supporting her, they asked. She feels bad for her friend because she’s going to suffer for being her friend. they have been friends for a long time.

We Are All Abahlali Now (Articles from Around the World)

Article in Greek:
Article in Spanish:
Article in Italian:
Article in English:

AbM: The Attacks Continue Now in the Presence of the Police and Senior ANC leaders

28 09 2009

Emergency Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Sunday 27 September 2009, 22:40

There are now senior ANC leaders in the Kennedy Road Community Hall. In their presence the homes of the elected Kennedy Road leadership continue to be demolished and burnt by the same small group of well armed people who have been carrying out attacks with impunity for 23 straight hours. None of the people that launched the surprise,  unprovoked and heavily armed attack on the KRDC last night have been arrested and yet most of the KRDC is locked up in the Sydenham Police station (including those who were publicly performing the imfene dance in Claremont at the time of the attack).

The police are currently on the scene and are doing nothing to stop the destruction. These are the same police who have, over the years, attacked a number of peaceful and legal marches with swift, shocking (and very effective) brutality. They are very well equipped and armed. They can get the riot police to support them in just a few minutes. They can get water cannons and helicopters in a few minutes. They can call in the army if they need to. It would be supremely easy for them to stop these attacks if they wished too. The police complicity in these attacks is now entirely beyond question. It is a matter of clear and obvious and undeniable fact.

We have just heard that S’bu Zikode’s house has been demolished and his goods have been stolen. He personally requested support from the police but received none. Should we be surprised given that these are the same police that tortured him in 2007 for the crime of trying to attend a radio interview?

There is no democracy for the poor in South Africa. Abahlali have been saying this for years. Now it must be obvious to everyone. It is time that we all stopped pretending that everything is ok in our country.

Emergency Press Release: Abahlali baseMjondolo Attacked in Kennedy Road – People Have Been Killed

27 09 2009

Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) – Emergency Press Release, September 27, 2009

Last night at about 11:30 a group of about 40 men heavily armed with guns, bush knives and even a sword attacked the KRDC near the Abahlali baseMjondolo office in the Kennedy Road settlement. The movement was holding an all night camp for the Youth League but the camp was not attacked but the people at the camp were intimidated and threatened.

The men who attacked were shouting: ‘The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu.” Some people were killed. We can’t yet say exactly how many. Some are saying that three people are dead. Some are saying that five people are dead. Many people are also very seriously injured. The attackers broke everything that they could including the windows in the hall. They destroyed 15 houses before launching their attack. They were knocking on each door shouting ‘All the amaZulu must come out’ and then destroying the shacks. As far as we know two of the attackers were killed when people managed to take their bush knives off them. This was self defense.

The Sydenham police were called but they did not come. They said that they had no vans but they didn’t radio their vans to come. This has led some people to conclude that this was a carefully planned attack on the movement and that the police knew in advance that it had been planned and stayed away on purpose. Why else would the police refuse to come when they are being called while people are being openly murdered? When the attack happened one officer from Crime Intelligence was there in plain clothes.

This morning the police arrived under the authority of Glen Nayager and made eight arrests. As far as we can tell only members of the Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) have been arrested. If this is true it indicates clearly that the police are part of this attack on the movement. It also seems that the police are only taking statements from the people that attacked us! Some of the people that they have arrested were not even at Kennedy Road when we were attacked. They were in Claremont for an imfene dance. They do the imfene dance every Saturday. All the people that have been arrested as amaMphondo. These arrests feel to us like the Kennedy Six scandal all over again.

Read the rest of this entry »


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