AbM: South Africa’s Great Change

14 09 2011

S’bu Zikode’s talk at the 30th anniversary of the 1981 protests against the Springbok tour of New Zealand

I wish to thank Global Peace and Justice, in Auckland, for inviting me to New Zealand to speak on the progress of post-apartheid South Africa and the birth of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. I also wish to thank Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA, the movement that I am part of, for trusting me with the responsibility of representing it.

I also wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the anti-apartheid movement here in New Zealand who stood firm with the people of South Africa in the fight against apartheid. Many of our older comrades remember watching, on TV, the protests that you organised against the Springbok tour in 1981. There were thousands of you, many thousands of you. You were attacked by the police. Many of you were beaten and arrested. Your protests were a deep shock to the racists in South Africa. It made them realise that although Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher accepted their racism ordinary people in New Zealand did not. Your protests also gave courage to the people struggling against apartheid in South Africa. You were workers, priests, teachers, housewives and students. You were men and women. You were old and young. You were people in New Zealand who made people in South Africa know that they were not alone in this world. The comrades who were of that generation remember how your brave protests made their hearts sing with joy and hope back in 1981. Read the rest of this entry »

Solidarity: Another Devastating Shack Fire in the Kennedy Road Settlement

11 08 2010

Click here to read ‘A Big Devil in the Jondolos: A report on Shack Fires’ by Matt Birkinshaw (2008).

Press Release: 10 August 2010.
Another Devastating Shack Fire in the Kennedy Road Settlement

If electricity, water and adequate housing were provided in the Kennedy Road shack settlement these recurring shack fires could have been prevented.

The Kennedy Road shack settlement burnt once again at about 10 pm on Sunday, 08 August 2010 – two hours before women’s day. As of today thousands of residents in Kennedy are homeless in this cold winter weather. If the municipality had given them houses or provided them with basic services, such as electricity, refuse collection, road access and water they would have been safe from fire. Fire is a serious threat to our lives. It is an undeniable fact that electricity is not needed by us but that our lives’ need electricity. In settlements that have electricity it is so unlikely to have fires of this nature as it is happening again and again in Kennedy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solidarity: Rural Network response to another killing by Farm Watch

26 07 2010

Another life has been claimed by the farm watch in eMasangweni at the farm owned by Mr. Channel of eNkwalini(Eshowe)

On the 23 July 2010 Mr. Patrick Mpanza was shot dead by the farm watch that is responsible for the farm of Mr. Channel. This incident happened while he was walking with his four kids, whom are all girls. According to the child that is the eye witness the farm watch told them to lie down on the ground, two of the four kids ran away while the other one was left with the father on the ground; however the father refused to lie down. By so doing the farm watch then shot him on the forehead.

The child that was left with the father asked the father if he was hurt, and the father replied by saying yes I am hurt. The child asked where you are hurt. That was the last words from the father, he couldn’t even reply to the child’s question. Later the child realized that the father had passed away.

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Solidarity: Standing with the Poor People’s Alliance at the 2010 US Social Forum

7 07 2010

As the World Cup began in South Africa in June 2010, the social movements of the Poor People’s Alliance continue to face off against the governing elite’s escalation of harassment, repression, and displacement.  At the same time, activists gathered at the second United States Social Forum — to bring together U.S.-based movements fighting poverty, racism and oppression, within the States as well as globally.  Some of the poor people’s organizations that gathered in the embattled and resilient, majority-Black city of Detroit for the USSF had met with members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign who visited the U.S. in 2009, finding common cause and inspiration in their creative struggles and visions for a better world.

On June 25 in Detroit, members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Picture the Homeless, Poverty Initiative, and other movement activists at the USSF gathered to play football — as a solidarity message to our allies in South Africa and their Poor People’s World Cup games happening at the same time.

We are with you!   Aluta continua!   Amandla Ngwethu!

For past examples of New York City-based solidarity statements and actions, see here and here.

AbM: “A Quiet Coup” reviews attacks on AbM

2 06 2010

A Quiet Coup
South Africa’s largest social movement under attack

By Toussaint Losier
Originally published in Spanish at Desinformémonos
An earlier version of this article appeared in Left Turn Magazine

At roughly 11:30pm on September 26th, a group of 30 to 40 men – survivors are still unsure about the actual numbers –surrounded the community hall in Kennedy Road shack settlement in Durban, South Africa. Brandishing sticks, machetes, and automatic weapons and echoing the language of the state-sponsored internecine political conflict that tore through South Africa during the last years of apartheid, the mob launched an attack on a meeting of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) Youth League taking place inside the hall. In the melee that followed, over a dozen people were injured, with four people left dead and the attackers left in control of the hall.

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Abm: Once Again the Name of Our Movement is Being Abused by the NGOs

15 05 2010

Friday, 14 May 2010
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

On Tuesday this week we were shocked to read an article in The Sowetan by Patrick Magebhula in which Magebhula claimed that Abahlali baseMjondolo is part of the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) which falls under the control of the global NGO Shack Dwellers International (SDI). Benjamin Bradlow from SDI later sent the article to the press. Read the rest of this entry »

Protest Against State Repression to be Held at at Macassar Village – Tomorrow

27 11 2009

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape
Press Statement, Friday 27 November 2009

We will be holding a protest against state repression at New Road, Maccassar Village, from 11:00 on Saturday 28 November 2009.

Our movement is under serious attack in Durban. Our comrades in Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban have been attacked and had their homes destroyed by an armed ANC militia supported by the local police and politicians. They have also been arrested, denied bail, beaten while in custody and attacked and seriously beaten by the police while going about their ordinary activities in their communities. Many of our comrades are living under death threats and have been turned into refugees. Read the rest of this entry »