We condemn the arrest of community leader Mzonke Poni

2 06 2009

WIVL Press Statement

Workers International Vanguard League condemns the arrest and assault of Mzonke Poni, one of the Cape Town leadership of the Abahlahli base Mjondolo movement. He is allegedly being charged for ‘public violence’. This false accusation has become a standard act of the state against those who dare to lead the resistance of the masses for their legitimate demands for housing. In this case, the demand was simply a piece of vacant land to erect a shack. In the days when the NP ruled they used to label opponents as ‘terrorists’ now the ‘democratic’ state labels us as perpetrators of ‘public violence’. The real public violence is for the state (DA and ANC) to deny homeless people a chance to put up a shelter in the middle of the cold and rainy winter.
The state shows by their policing of public land, by building up fascistic groups under the guise of ‘anti-land invasion units’, that they are the defenders of monopoly capital and the imperialist banks in particular. The banks can only demand massively over-inflated prices for housing, through public violence of deliberately keeping the masses in a semi-permanent state of homelessness and desperation. If too many houses are built, desperation would decline and so would house prices. In the current epoch of gangster-capitalism, the handful of capitalists rule, while humanity is kept in chains. That the state has no intention of ever building enough houses for the masses is borne out by budget released in February of this year; the paltry R20 Billion is not even enough to cover population growth, let alone the backlog of over 3 million units. The appointment of billionaire capitalist Tokyo Sexwale as Minister of human (un)settlement, shows the callous disregard the ANC government has for the masses. Sexwale is
bound hand and footo to big capital, having made his billions through loans from monopoly capital. The symbolic resignation from his position in Mvelaphanda (a monopoly with huge housing business through Group 5) is just an eyeblind to fool the masses.

The arrest of of cde Mzonke shows that while the Zuma-led ANC government talks left, they act in a fashion no different from the Mbeki-led ANC. The ANC appears to have learnt well from the DA and its predecessors, the PFP, masters of evictions and suppression pre-1994. The eviction of the people from vacant land in Macassar shows that the DA and ANC serve the same capitalist masters.

We demand the immediate and unconditional release of comrade Mzonke and the dropping of all charges against him and other members of the macassar community.

The demands of the community for land should not only be met but extended to the simple basic call for decent housing for all!
The masses’ struggle for housing is the same struggle against retrenchment, against high prices and low wages, the same struggle as the workers in the USA or Terra del Fuego, or the Chinese worker for freedom frm capitalist exploitation, of the Palestinian masses for the simple right of return, of the masses in the DRC for and end to the war by the imperialists.

We call for the struggles of housing to be united with all other struggles against the capitalists and placed on the agenda of the trade unions.

A working class united will never be defeated!

[Cde Mzonke is due to appear in court in Macassar on Tuesday 2 June 2009- we call on all organizations of the working class to turn out en masse to protest against this state violence]

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