“We are not cowards we will never surrender our struggle”
In the early hours of Saturday morning mobs attacked the Kennedy Rd settlement. Now thousands are running from the settlement, the President and Vice President are in hiding, the office is being emptied for fear it will be bulldozed. This is pure intimidation in what appears to be attempts by the local ANC, local government and police to destroy the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement by using Apartheid type tactics against the people. Clearly the wrong lessons have been learned!
New video has been put together from the scene at Kennedy Road. Eyewitnesses to the menacing mob on Saturday night directly contradict both the official ANC story that ‘Abahlali-connected people’ perpetrated the attack and the ridiculous comment by Ward Councilor Yakoob Baig that the community is ‘terrified of Abahlali’. The slightest scrutiny reveals that in fact Abahlali was the target of the vicious 36 hours plus of deadly mob violence. In the 3 days since at least 4 people have been killed, many injured and over 1,000 have been displaced from the settlement under threats of violence. Their safe return has no secure guarantee and has not even been addressed by the ANC or police. The ANC’s persistent support and connection to the actual attackers proves that the government is at a minimum complicit in the violence. At the moment no member of the armed mob these witnesses were threatened by has been arrested while 8 unarmed members of the Kennedy Road safety committee, which was protecting Abahlali members that night, are in police custody facing possible murder charges. Abahlali President S’bu Zikode and Vice President Lindela Figlan remain refugees, unable to return to their homes at Kennedy Road while the armed mob holding death threats over their heads roams free to terrorize the remaining residents at the settlement. In fact anyone with even the most cursory connection to Abahlali, for example the ladies who cook for children in the creche near the Abahlali office are being threatened and forced to leave. Please watch this video as it is an important counter to the blatant lies being peddled by the ANC and swallowed whole by much of the South African media.