Today’s rally in Khayelitsha drew an estimated 1200 people, in a show of support for the Anti-Eviction Campaign. The crowd gathered to listen to speeches from Max Ntanyana of the Mandela Park AEC, Roger Ronnie, General Secretary of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU), Trevor Ngwane of the Gauteng Anti-Privatisation Forum and Palestinian activist Anis Saleh.
In front of the stage were three coffins, with the names of South African banks, reviled local politicians and also Richard Tonkin, the much-hated Khayelitsha police Captain who has threatened to ‘pick off AEC members one by one’. It is Captain Tonkin’s actions which saw Max Ntanyana spend 3 weeks in jail last month awaiting a bail hearing. Max was only released after
a campaign of local and international pressure, and he and 4 others are facing harsh bail conditions, designed to curtail their political activities. It is only through legal intervention that Max was able to be present today.
Many in the crowd were clothed in the red, yellow and white T-shirts of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, as well as T-shirts supporting the Anti-Privatisation Forum, the Landless People’s Movement, and other political organisations. Banners of unions, the AEC, the APF and a banner in solidarity with OCAP were arrayed on the stadium’s walls.
After the speeches, a decision was made to go and ‘bury’ Tonkin’s coffin at the Site B police station. The crowd then marched through the streets of Khayelitsha to the police station, and into the police station itself, where the coffins were burned with much jubilation. Everyone then headed home – to Mandela Park, Illitha Park, Mfuleni, Driftsands and other areas.
All in all the mood was jubilant and militant. Our struggle continues!
Down with the sheriffs!
Down with the banks!
Stop all evictions!
Stop all disconnections!
Forward with the AEC, forward!
Western Cape AEC