Opinion: ‘Police lies exposed in court’

8 10 2009


Mzonke Poni, leader of Abahlali base Mjondolo in the Western Cape, and accused on a charge of ‘public violence’ had his case discharged in court on Tuesday 29 September for ‘lack of reliable evidence’. Mzonke conducted his own defence and he did so brilliantly. He led the three witnesses, one from the Metro Police and two from Cape Town’s anti-land-invasion unit, into contradicting themselves and each other. Read the rest of this entry »


Mzonke Poni writes on ‘Public Violence’ before his trial (set to start on Tuesday 29 September 2009)

26 09 2009

Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, is scheduled to stand trial on the charge of public violence on Tuesday 29 September 2009. The charge, which carries jail time if there is a conviction, relates to a protest organised in opposition to state criminality against the Macassar Village Land Occupation. Mzonke has written this essay on ‘public violence’ in response to the charges levelled against him. Messages of support can be emailed to abmwesterncape@abahlali.org.

Public Violence

by Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape

What exactly is public violence? Who really counts as the public? What really counts as violence? These are important questions that require clear arguments. Read the rest of this entry »

We condemn the arrest of community leader Mzonke Poni

2 06 2009

WIVL Press Statement

Workers International Vanguard League condemns the arrest and assault of Mzonke Poni, one of the Cape Town leadership of the Abahlahli base Mjondolo movement. He is allegedly being charged for ‘public violence’. This false accusation has become a standard act of the state against those who dare to lead the resistance of the masses for their legitimate demands for housing. In this case, the demand was simply a piece of vacant land to erect a shack. In the days when the NP ruled they used to label opponents as ‘terrorists’ now the ‘democratic’ state labels us as perpetrators of ‘public violence’. The real public violence is for the state (DA and ANC) to deny homeless people a chance to put up a shelter in the middle of the cold and rainy winter. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Backyard dwellers’ leader arrested for public violence

2 06 2009

Note: Mzonke Poni is still being held.  Police spokesmen have lied to activists and journalists about having already filed charges and him appearing in court this morning.  At the moment, we are not sure when he will be charged.

June 02, 2009 Edition 1

THE leader of the Macassar backyard dwellers in their struggle for land for housing, Mzonke Poni, has been arrested soon after his organisation won an interdict against the city demolishing their shacks. Read the rest of this entry »

AbM-WC: The Arrest & Police Assault of Mzonke Poni – update no. 3, 7:47 p.m. 1 June 2009

1 06 2009

Press Update:

We have now been able to confirm the following:

1. Mzonke has, probably as a result of the fantastic national and international solidarity, been able to receive medial attention.

2. The woman who was arrested, with her child, along with Mzonke was subject to intimidation at the hands of the police and threatened to never return to the occupation and then released without being charged. We cannot yet give her name. Read the rest of this entry »

Bankruptcy of responses to Macassar land occupation underlines Western Cape housing crisis

22 05 2009
By Martin Legassick

For more pictures including the ongoing camping by residents, click here.

land occupations in Macassar

land occupations in Macassar

On Tuesday 19th backyarders in Macassar, desperate for homes, built shacks on municipal land on a field adjoining the N2 – and were illegally evicted by Cape Town’s DA Helen-Zille-inspired Anti-Land Invasion unit, together with SAPS and Metro Police. Their building materials were confiscated and taken off in a truck. In the process four people (including a 2-year old child) were unnecessarily wounded by police rubber bullets, four people (including myself) were unnecessarily taken into custody and three of these wrongfully charged with public violence. Read the rest of this entry »