AbM: ‘We see what you do, we watch you’, warns Revd Brittion

6 02 2010

Revd Sue Brittion has warned the authorities that the church is watching them and it will remember when the time comes for the truth to be told.

Revd Brittion was speaking at a prayer service organised by Diakonia Council of Churches for the ‘Kennedy 12’ outside the Durban Magistrates’ Court on Friday 5 February 2010.

She expressed disgust at how the prosecutors and the political leadership have treated the accused and lamented the fact that none of the perpetrators of this horrific attack on Abahlali has been brought to book. “No charges have been put to the accused. The state prosecutor has been highly negligent in preparing a case to the extent of failing to appear in court at one of the eight hearings even if he was seen in the court building. A call by religious leaders for a Commission of Enquiry into the events of 26 September 2009 has been ignored by the authorities”, she said.

Holding a copy of the Constitution in her hand, Revd Brittion said the whole situation is a travesty of justice and goes contrary to the South African Bill of Rights. She said, “The very pillars of the democracy we struggled so long to achieve are being undermined. All the rights enshrined in our precious constitution are blatantly ignored by the authorities”.

For those from the Christian faith, she said, the treatment of Abahlali by the state sounds strikingly similar to the treatment meted out to Jesus. “ Jesus was also unjustly arrested on the spurious grounds that he was challenging the authorities of the day by his steadfast, non-violent actions which revealed
the injustice built into the system of the Roman Empire”, she said.

Spelling out the role of the church, Revd Brittion said “We as the church stand as a crowd of witnesses to those who accuse Abahlali, persecute them and want to remove them from society, as well as to those in authority, magistrates and prosecutors, police and prison authorities, politicians and those who make the law but so often do not keep it themselves”.

Meanwhile, in yet another clear display of the state’s intention to persecute and harass Abahlali into submission the ‘Kennedy 5’ who have been in custody since their arrest in September were again denied bail for the ninth time and will be back in court on 19 February. The other seven who are on bail made their routine court appearance and are still restricted to Pietermaritzburg because the state has not as yet confirmed their new accommodation in Durban.

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