South Africa: The ‘Boiketlong Four’ and the Criminalisation of Poverty and Protest

In February 2015, four community activists from Boiketlong in the Vaal, south of Johannesburg, were sentenced to 16 years in prison each following a community protest. This is a very severe sentence and the conviction was based on shaky evidence. The ‘Boiketlong Four’ were arrested for allegedly attacking the local ANC ward councillor and setting fire to her shack and two cars during a community protest. They were convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson and malicious injury to property. This is an example of a terrible injustice perpetrated against black working class activists and could have dangerous repercussions for future struggles of the black working class and poor in South Africa if it is not fought. People need to be aware of the facts and take action to demand justice and to fight the criminalisation of poverty and protest.
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Durban (South Africa): Abahlali are under armed attack from the eThekwini Mayor

Thursday, 6 July 2017 – Abahlali urgent press statement

Abahlali are under armed attack from the eThekwini Mayor

On 26 June we marched, in our thousands, on the Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality and the KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance. The Mayor and the MEC refused to present themselves to the thousands of people who had marched on the City Hall.

The memoranda that we handed over gave them seven days to respond to our demands. We made it clear that if there was no response we would engage in further protest action. [Read More]

Durban (South Africa): We March on the City Hall on 26 June 2017

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 – Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

One death and several injuries in Marianhill, three arrests in Kranskop

Today we came under serious attack from the Land Invasions Unit in eMansenseni in Marianhill. One person is confirmed dead, two are in a critical condition in hospital and a number of others are injured – all shot in the back. It was a war zone. The Land Invasions Unit didn’t talk to anyone. They just fired live ammunition. The intention was clearly to kill, to teach a lesson. [Read More]

South Africa: Abahlali baseMjondolo Statement

An Old Snake in a New Skin – From Raymond Masondo to Heinrich Bohmke and Bandile Mdlalose

In 2006, when we made it clear that we would not give up our autonomy to the NGOs and walked out of a meeting at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) at UKZN, some NGO workers, such as Mondli Hlatswayo, rushed to call us criminals on emails and in the press.
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Cape Town (South Africa): Running battles rage across Cape’s Marikana

From mainstream media:

Cape Town – Rioters ran through the smoke carrying cases of Coca-Cola after looting a wholesaler in Marikana, Philippi, on Friday morning as the area once again flared into violence while evictions were under way.

At the time of publication, running battles raged across several square kilometres as police clashed with angry residents.
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Durban (South Africa): Nqobile Nzuza, a 17 Year Old School Girl, Shot Dead

Nqobile Nzuza a 17 year old girl, a grade 9 learner at Bonella High School and an Abahlali baseMjondolo supporter was gunned down at around 5:00 a.m. this morning. Nqobile was shot twice from behind with live ammunition. Luleka Makhwenkwana was also shot in her arm with live ammunition and she in King Edward Hospital. Thulisile Zide fainted and went unconscious, she is also in hospital.

This is shoot to kill policing. This is the crackdown that the police and politicians promised on protests. This is policing that is willing to murder to suppress the struggle for real justice and real freedom. This is policing that is used to oppress the people in the interests of the ruling party and the tenderpreurs and gangsters that have seized control of it in Durban.
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Duran (South Africa): ANC members are threatening AbM leaders in Cato Crest now

Update: It was impossible to carry out the process as stipulated by the court order due to intimidation and threats from ANC supporters including open and public death threats. The rule of law is being undermined at every turn. Our lawyers and leaders have now left the area.

17 September 2013 – 9:11 a.m.
Abahlali baseMjondolo Emergency Press Statement

Abalalhi baseMjondolo (AbM) leaders are at Cato Crest with lawyers from both AbM and the City, as per the last court order, to count and mark the shacks that are protected by the court orders.
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Pretoria (South Africa): Let the dead bury the dead

August 11, 2010

How’s this for life in Pretoria? A squatter community is using a slimy, algae-filled pond to wash their clothes, the Sowetan newspaper reports.

Jacob van Gardeneren, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said: “The surrounding neighbourhoods used typical excuses to justify their involvement in these evictions – such as that the informal settlement hosts criminals. The reality is that this informal settlement hosts their gardeners, domestic workers and construction workers, who are often paid so poorly they cannot afford to travel home every day.” [Read More]

Cape Town (South Africa): Militant Mzonke Poni Goes to Trial on Tuesday 29 September 2009 on a Charge of ‘Public Violence’

26 Sept. 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 relates to a protest organised in opposition to state criminality against the Macassar Village Land Occupation. He has written this essay on ‘public violence’ in response to the charges levelled against him.]

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 More]

Cape Town, South Africa: Western Cape communities uniting against lack of service delivery and housing

Khayelitsha, Cape Town, 17 September 2005 – Decent Housing For All – Now!

The mass rally to demand housing for all that kicked off on the 17 September revealed mainly two things: the amount of anger and frustration over present housing policies, and the need to seriously start planning a concrete way forward.

Around 1 000 people from townships and squatter camps from around Cape Town came to the Oliver Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha to discuss the local elections, the problems they face in their communities, and to adopt a way forward. The Anti-Eviction Campaign from several communities where there, as were the Anti-Privatisation Forum, the Treatment Action Campaign, the Vrygrond Action Committee and many others. [Read More]

Cape Town, South Africa: No land! No house! No vote!

Cape Town, July 2005 – The Cape Town collective of Indymedia South Africa has made a ‘video newsletter’ about recent housing struggles in the city. This 35 minute production features footage of recent housing protests and interviews with community activists from Vrygrond, Delft, QQ section and Kwezi Park talking about housing issues and current issues. It is produced in order to give activists from elsewhere insight into the current struggles in Cape Town. [Read More]

Johannesburg (South Africa): Victory for Wynberg residents

Direct action at the Johannesburg High Court forces judge to issue a decision: No case for an eviction order. But the judge bowed to the developers by allowing the proceedings to move to oral testimony from witnesses.

Dozens of children from Wynberg took a day off from school today [Friday April 29, 2005] so that they could join their parents at the Johannesburg High Court. Having rejected the developers’ patronizing attempt to buy them off with R500,000 ($85/person), the residents arrived at court early this morning expecting the judge to announce whether or not he had decided to evict the Wynberg residents from their homes. They were let down when the judge phoned their attorney and told him that there would be no decision today. [Read More]