When: Assemble at 9am on 5th December and begin march at 10am Where: Protea Gardens, Ndaba Street, Soweto, to Protea North Magistrates Court, Kunene Street
On the 26th of September this year a gang of heavily armed men launched an attack on the shack-dwellers movement, Abahlali BaseMjondolo, and organisers of the Kennedy Road Development Committee in the Kennedy Road settlement outside Durban. Members of the community spontaneously organised themselves in self-defence, and two people were killed in the clash. Thousands have been forced out of the township. After police stepped in to stop the self defence, the attackers systematically demolished the homes of AbM and KRDC members – with the police and local ANC leaders present! The political rivalry in KwaZulu Natal has exploited ethnic sentiment and tensions that emerged during the Jacob Zuma election campaign. There is a good case to suggest that African National Congress (ANC) in and around Kennedy Road is using ethnicity to mobilise local residents against popular social movements such as Abahlali. The Kennedy Road attackers shouted slogans such as “The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu.” 13 people – all associated with Abahlali, and all Xhosa – have been arrested in connection with the murders, even though they were not the perpetrators of the attack, but its victims. They are facing false murder charges and have been held for two months without bail in the notorious Westville prison. Recently, a similar situation has arisen in Pemary Ridge, another settlement in the area, where key activists continue to receive death threats and remain in hiding after a police attack.
There is no doubt that ANC and government officials, as well as the police, were not merely compliant in the attacks, but responsible for its authorization. Nothing is more dangerous to the government and capitalist elite than the self-mobilized poor because it amounts to the loss of state control over the townships. This is why they repeatedly resort to the type of state-sponsored warlordism Abahlali has experienced, and try to divide the poor by building up ethnic tension. The attack must be seen for what it is: a purposeful and systematic act of murder and arson, and an attempt at the physical and ideological destruction of Abahlali!
The Kennedy road attack is one more act of violence in a long war by the parasitic South African elite on the poor (and specifically on autonomous working class organisations that challenge ANC hegemony and its anti-poor project) that we will not tolerate!
We, as social movements and activists based in Gauteng call on all people fighting for justice to join us in solidarity with Abahlali and the Kennedy 13 on the 5th December when we march from Protea Gardens, Ndaba Street, Soweto, to Protea North Magistrates Court, Kunene Street. We will be assembling at 9am, and the march will depart at 10am sharp.
We call for:
- FREE THE KENNEDY 13! DROP ALL CHARGES!
- ANC THUGS OUT OF KENNEDY ROAD!
- DEFEND THE MOVEMENTS OF THE POOR! AN ATTACK ON ABAHLALI IS AN ATTACK ON US ALL!
Issued by the Solidarity March Organising Committee, comprising members of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Landless People’s Movement (LPM) and the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF).
For details contact Jonathan – 084 946-4240 ; Warren 072 399-0912