AbM: Justice Delayed and Denied Once More for the Kennedy 12

15 05 2010

Friday, 14 May 2010
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The Kennedy 12 appeared in Y court today. The defence lawyer was finally given case docket. At the hearing the magistrate set down 12 July 2010 as the trial date.

The five who are still in Westville Prison will appear before the same magistrate who refused them bail last year. Their bail application has been set down for Thursday 20 May 2010 at Court 10. The only difference will be that this time the defence will have been able to have read the docket before the bail application. But the accused will have spent eight months in prison before they are able to have a proper bail hearing. If the magistrate refuses bail again the matter will go the High Court on appeal.

In the eight months in which these five men have been rotting in Westville Prison – unable to work to support their families who were made homeless in the attack on AbM last year – no evidence of criminality on their part has been presented to the court. Instead there has been constant and blatant political interference. If the five who are still in jail are granted bail on 20 May they would already have served a long sentence without being found guilty of anything.

This is a political case and it will be a political trial. Our movement has always argued that the legal system is deeply biased towards the rich because good lawyers cost money and the rich have money and we don’t. We deeply appreciate the commitment of our comrade lawyers who have worked incredibly hard with us and for us. But we have always argued that the legal system must be freed from the rule of money. But now it is clear to us that there are two forces that are corrupting the legal system. One is money and the other is political oppression organised through the ANC.

There is no doubt that our comrades are political prisoners and that the trial that will begin on 12 July 2010 will be a political trial. We will do everything that we can to mobilise solidarity around this trial.

For more information or comment please contact Mzwake Mdlalose of the Kennedy Road Development Committee on or the Abahlali baseMjondolo Office on 031 304 6420.

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