October 02, 2009 Edition 1
NTOKOZO MFUSI – The Mercury
NEARLY 100 residents of the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Sydenham, Durban, have been displaced after a mob attack which occurred on Saturday night.The chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council, Anglican Bishop Rubin Phillip, said the displaced included the Abahlali baseMjondolo – a shack dwellers’ movement – president Sbu Zikode and vice-president Lindela Figlan.
“The people who have been affected are scattered all over Durban, but we do not want to reveal their whereabouts… Some are still out there and surviving the elements, which is really concerning.”
Abahlali has accused ANC leaders of being behind the attack, saying its members have been targeted. The ANC has denied the allegation.
Phillips urged the public to assist those affected with shelter, clothing and food. Donations can be dropped off at the Anglican Church offices at 29 St Mary’s Avenue, Greyville.
A statement posted on the Abahlali website yesterday revealed that the movement was planning to hold a meeting of members from 34 settlements in Durban and some from Cape Town at a secret location and date to develop a plan of action for the movement.
Meanwhile, KZN sociologist and violence monitor Mary de Haas has taken it upon herself to question the police on their handling of the mob attacks.
She has sent a letter to Sydenham station commissioner Glen Nayager, asking how the police responded to the incident. Residents had accused the police of not responding timeously and standing by while they were attacked.
Nayager said he had not received De Haas’s letter and could not comment.
Meanwhile, eight people have been charged with the murder of two people who died during the attack.