Housing activists murdered in Durban

Housing activists murdered in Durban

Activists in the South African shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo have been attacked in Durban, leaving several dead.

Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC)
Emergency Press Release
September 27, 2009

Abahlali baseMjondolo Attacked in Kennedy Road – People Have Been Killed

Last night at about 11:30 a group of about 40 heavily armed men attacked the Abahlali baseMjondolo office in the Kennedy Road settlement where the movement was holding an all night camp for the Youth League.

The men who attacked were shouting: ‘The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu.” Some people were killed. We can’t yet say exactly how many. Some are saying that three people are dead. Some are saying that five people are dead. Some people are also very seriously injured. The attackers broke everything that they could…

South Africa: Relocation, Relocation & Demonstration
Simon Saunders
The Morning Star
September 9, 2009

Many activists in South Africa’s largest shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) have been fighting over the issue of housing rights for 15 years now.

After the fall of apartheid in 1994, the new ANC government wrote into the constitution that the shack dwellers, living four or five to a room in hovels at the centre of South Africa’s wealthiest cities, should have homes.

But as time has gone on, successive administrations in the great conurbations, particularly the east coast port of Durban, have continued what many saw as one of the great injustices of white rule – the attempted removal of shack dwellers from prime real estate in the city centres.

Instead of building houses where the shack dwellers already are, they build in the suburbs, a reinvention of 19th century urban planning models which force working-class people away from the opportunities, amenities and beauties of central living…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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13 Responses to Housing activists murdered in Durban

  1. Jared says:

    Urgent support for SA shackdwellers: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/9/an-open-letter-to-jacob-zuma

    Sign now and repost their press statements: http://www.abahlali.org

  2. @ndy says:

    The Attacks Continue in the Presence of the Police and Senior ANC Leaders
    Monday, 2009-09-28 07:04.

    Emergency Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

    There are now senior ANC leaders in the Kennedy Road Community Hall. In their presence the homes of the elected Kennedy Road leadership continue to be demolished and burnt by the same small group of well armed people who have been carrying out attacks with impunity for 23 straight hours. None of the people that launched the surprise, unprovoked and heavily armed attack on the KRDC last night have been arrested and yet most of the KRDC is locked up in the Sydenham Police station (including those who were publicly performing the imfene dance in Claremont at the time of the attack).

    The police are currently on the scene and are doing nothing to stop the destruction. These are the same police who have, over the years, attacked a number of peaceful and legal marches with swift, shocking (and very effective) brutality. They are very well equipped and armed. They can get the riot police to support them in just a few minutes. They can get water cannons and helicopters in a few minutes. They can call in the army if they need to. It would be supremely easy for them to stop these attacks if they wished too. The police complicity in these attacks is now entirely beyond question. It is a matter of clear and obvious and undeniable fact.

    We have just heard that S’bu Zikode’s house has been demolished and his goods have been stolen. He personally requested support from the police but received none. Should we be surprised given that these are the same police that tortured him in 2007 for the crime of trying to attend a radio interview? Mashumi Figlan’s house has been burnt.

    Thousands of people have fled the settlement. They are, of course, political refugees.

    There is no democracy for the poor in South Africa. Abahlali have been saying this for years. Now it must be obvious to everyone. It is time that we all stopped pretending that everything is ok in our country.

  3. victory chisholm says:

    Here in the U.S., the saying is “if you build new roads the vehicles will come”. So S.A. should build new cities lie Brazil did many years ago and like Sandton in Johannesburg. Plan and build. S.A. has plenty of money and many resources so the govt. should get on with the job of fixing what is broken and not just line its pockets and those of their family members.

    The S.A. govt is doing nothing for its people. The people should hold the govt’s feet to the fire constantly without let-up. They should demand help while still trying to help themselves. S.A. is a disgrace. The whole world was championing them and now look at the govt. Look at them on tv. They just want to be on tv chomping their gums, not saying much, repeating over and over what they just said. They are full of their own self-indulgent importance, trying to imitate the apartheid govt, pretending they are world players on the world stage. The stage is right there in S.A., waiting for the govt to do something, to show what it can do to advance the masses from their plight. S.A. can do it if the govt will stop playing at governing. Zuma needs to be strong and the ANC needs to be for all the people; the Zulus need to change their thinking that they are the greatest tribe on earth; in fact, they are the laziest people on earth[!]. Zulus, wake up and be somebody and not fight and kill your brethren. We all live here and as the constitution says, S.A. belongs to all who live here.

    The country is big enough for everyone. Work on the infrastructure before it starts getting giant sink-holes like New York. Work on transportation and get all those crazy speeding taxi -drivers off the road. Work on getting every child in school. Work on getting everyone a job. To all intents and purposes, S.A. is a new country. Like a new home, it needs to be fixed and furnished.

  4. victory chisholm says:

    Yes, I’m back. Instead of waiting for the heavens to open up, S.A. should get to work educating the masses to conserve water. The ANC was gung-ho to get 11 languages recognized as the voices of the people. The govt. needs to educate the people about many things in all 11 languages via billboards, on buses, trains, clinics, hospitals, sports’ events and anywhere there are people. The people need to know about hand-washing, not to pee on a pole or tree right out there in public, AIDS, obesity and diabetes, ringworm, TB, too much meat-eating, reading for at least 20 minutes every day, being honest, caring and sharing. The people have to be educated; they have to play “catch-up” in a very serious way to undo some of the neglect of the apartheid years and yes, the years of the British Empire. It appears that South Africans have not thrown off the yoke of these former bandits. They go to the races in July in all the finery of the English, they own polo ponies, they own many homes,etc. What about the poor of South Africa? Is a polo pony worth more than a poor child? S.A. also needs to stop all the red tape for everything. People feel so insignificant that they make their jobs a means of wielding power, frustrating everyone. Yes, I am a South African, the great grand-daughter of Chief John Dunn of Zululand, descending through the line of Mtetwa. He was a rotter. After marrying all those Zulu women and having all those children, he cast his lot with the British during the war many years ago. My heart aches for South Africa and how she cares so little for the poor.

  5. dickie says:

    A good friend of mine is about to embark on a mission to the Middle East to help out the needy people in Iraq and Palestine and I commend her for doing so. I only wish some of us could take up arms or in some other way defend the victims in South Africa as well. Things are progressively escalating there and quickly getting out of hand. It IS already a virtual war zone and it is very rapidly spiraling out of control. And this is not only occurring in South Africa, it is also taking place in other African nations as well.

    As times get harder in these places we can expect to see the lawlessness and all out GENOCIDE against the White “farmers” increase. It seems that what took place in Haiti 2 centuries ago is now happening in these African nations. All that was needed for the ABSOLUTE GENOCIDE in Haiti was for the French to be tied up in their own affairs back in France (the French “revolution”). At which point EVERY LAST White in Haiti was systematically MURDERED. I would expect to see the exact same thing occur to the Whites in Africa as well once economies fail and the system breaks down. It is ALREADY gaining a very BLOODY momentum! Especially since NOTHING is even being said about it.

    BTW – we can expect the SAME THING to happen in Europe as well if and when Whites ALLOW themselves to become a small minority there. It might take awhile for the transition to occur before these inevitabilities are realized, but the end result will be just the “BLOODY” same.

    They have waged ALL OUT WAR against us without our even realizing it. And right now we are getting our asses kicked!

  6. dickie says:

    In South Africa crime is a way of life that’s tolerated by the corrupt ANC government.

    Most people refuse to hear these ideas — branding them with labels like “racist”, “western imperialism”, “complaining whites”.

    Fact is that one of the main differences between the black and non-black civilizations is this: other civilizations have gradually achieved optimal efficiency over centuries of innovation. The black people have been conquered, enslaved, subsequently freed and then GIVEN the fruits of more advanced civilizations.

    The result is that blacks have an attitude that the world owes them something, and that when they stop receiving hand-outs they are entitled to TAKE what they want.

    That is why South Africa has been unable to move forward at maximum efficiency since the end of Apartheid in 1994. The initial surge of foreign investment that bolstered the SA economy is now drying up in the face of INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE AND RUNAWAY CRIME.

    This attitude of entitlement, in addition to the lack of robust initiatives to combat poverty, improve education and tackle crime by the ANC government, has resulted in a country where criminals go on a rampage, while law-abiding citizens live in fear.

    From the poorest townships to the richest suburbs, families are robbed, murdered and raped in their own homes.

    Such a waste of human life and squandering of resources — an absolute tragedy.

    Where are those anti-apartheid activists now? Why the lack of criticism of this government? As long as black people refuse to take responsibility for their own future and continue to blame apartheid and colonialism for their problems, South Africa remains doomed. How did western civilizations lift themselves out of the ravages of two world wars? Not through blaming of others, but through highly efficient poverty eradication measures. Where are the MASSIVE JOB CREATION PROJECTS in South Africa today? Build roads, dams, schools, houses…

    This is the persecution suffered by the people of South Africa today — crime tolerance by a corrupt government. This tolerance is the result of a “take away” attitude of ENTITLEMENT.

  7. @ndy says:

    Oh boy

    ZACF Analysis of the 2009 South African National and Provincial Elections
    May 2009

    The following analysis was presented by a member of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) at the Khanya College organised Seminar on the 2009 Election Results, held in Johannesburg on Sunday 10 May 2009. The topic of the seminar was “What do the 2009 Election results mean for the South African working class?”.

    There were speakers from the following organisations present:

    Bolshevik Study Circles & Che Guevara Film Club, Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), Soweto Concerned Residents (S.C.R–A.P.F), NKUZI – Fieldworker of Farmworkers’ Programme and Kathorus Concerned Residents (KCR).

    It should be noted that – owing to the constraints of time allocated for this presentation – this is by no means a complete analysis of the 2009 elections, and what the ANC victory and Zuma administration means for the poor and working class of the region. It serves only to raise some of what we believe to be important issues for consideration going forward.

    We’ve been hearing so much about Zuma. Zuma is great or Zuma is terrible. A hero or a criminal. A socialist or a ‘moderate’. The election seems to have been all about Zuma, Zille and perhaps a few other dominant personalities.

    What does it mean for the poor and working class that this election – supposed to be a key election – is discussed so much in terms of personalities? Not just in the media: this is how many many people have been thinking of it, since years before the election date.

    Let’s look at the role of Cosatu, the [country’s] largest working class organisation. Cosatu’s support for Zuma clearly shows the ideological bankruptcy of its leadership. Since his victory at Polokwane Zuma has, time and again, assured the international capitalist class that economic policy will not change under his administration, and that the country – under the direction of a Zuma-led ANC government – will remain committed to the neoliberal capitalist policies of his predecessors. Despite suggestions from the capitalist media that Zuma is a socialist, and Cosatu’s and the SACP’s blind acceptance thereof, Zuma is a fully-fledged neoliberal capitalist. Since the ANC’s electoral victory the Rand has been getting stronger, and it strengthened when the charges against Zuma were dropped. This shows that Zuma’s efforts to [assure] global capitalists that the economy would not change under his leadership were not in [vain]; the international ruling class does not see Zuma as a socialist, or as anything but a neoliberal. This only goes to show, once again, the ideological bankruptcy of the Cosatu and SACP leadership; that they do not even know what socialism, or a socialist, is.

    It shows the idealistic and individualistic analysis of the ANC’s alliance partners that, with Thabo Mbeki having been replaced by the less autocratic Jacob Zuma, there will be more opportunity for the Cosatu and SACP leadership to influence decision-making and have a say on policy matters. As Zuma said during his inaugural speech, it was a “moment of renewal”. To the post-Polokwane victors, who are now lining up to loot state coffers, it is inconsequential that the bourgeois and capitalist aims of the ANC undoubtedly go back to the founding in 1912, and have never changed – except that it became neoliberal, because neoliberalism is the dominant form of capitalism today. Even this didn’t just happen in 1996: the RDP was full of neoliberal elements. And the move to neoliberalism was supported by the entire ANC leadership, notably including Zuma.

    So what does it mean that, firstly, these elections were fought on the grounds of personalities instead of policies and, secondly, that Jacob Zuma emerged the victor?

    The fact that these elections were waged primarily between personalities shows us just how little the various parties contesting elections, and particularly the main parties, differ in their policies. All of the parties involved represent the same class interest of the ANC, and it is therefore futile to campaign on policy when the policies of one party are almost the same as those of the next. Each and every one of the major parties, and the majority of the smaller and insignificant parties – which are now starting to disappear – support GEAR and the neoliberal policies currently in place. Some, such as the DA, might like to fast-track privatisation and so on, but none are in [any] way whatsoever against capitalism.

    And yet a large proportion of the working class have fallen for this idea that Zuma will change things. Because he is more approachable and down-to-earth than Mbeki, people want to think that he’ll do things differently, in a way that matters. But we know he doesn’t want to; and he probably couldn’t do much even if he did want to.

    The global economy is currently in its worst crisis since the 1930s. Millions of jobs have been lost worldwide, including hundreds of thousands in South Africa, and many many more retrenchments are expected, as well as short-timing and so on. The Zuma administration is unfortunate in that it is taking over the reigns of power at a time when, because of the crisis, it will be very hard to deliver. Banks and corporations are trying to recover money lost or maintain profits, which means more exploitation for workers. Likewise states are cutting back on social spending, which means even less service delivery. The economic crisis is therefore going to make it hard for Zuma to live up to his promises – if he really wanted to – but it also provides him with an excuse. At the end of his term, he can just turn around and say that it was the economic crisis, which is out of his administration[‘]s control, which prevented them from meeting their goals; and convince the electorate to give him another term in the presidency to try again. In the meantime it is the working class and poor who will be paying, some with their jobs or their lives, for the bosses’ crisis.

    In this context, one of the first things we can expect from the Zuma administration is that they will start making a hype about 2010 [that is, the FIFA World Cup] like never before. They will make a fuss about all the jobs that are being created, and how good it will be for the economy. Workers will work around the clock in dangerous conditions to ensure that the stadiums are completed in time, and then what? Thousands of tourists will come from overseas to watch Bafana Bafana get knocked out in the first round; everyone will go home; and all the jobs that were created will be gone. The government will have, in the meantime, spent millions and millions of Rands on the short-lived World Cup instead of investing in sustainable job creation and service delivery. We need to work to expose this and, amongst other things, to campaign for the jobs created by 2010 to be permanent, which means we need to build working class militancy.

    With Zuma as the figurehead of the anti-Mbeki campaign working class militancy has taken a backward step, the youth – amongst others – duped by the pseudo-militancy of the likes of Julius Malema, as many people who associated lack of service delivery with the Mbeki administration have taken up the campaign to oust him and get Zuma into power. Even the social movements have lost support to the Zuma cult, which has served to expropriate and tame working class militancy by drawing people into the battle between personalities instead of to the collective struggle, on a day-to-day basis, for a better life.

    When it becomes clear for all to see that Zuma and his administration are not delivering, and that they are in fact both unable and unwilling to deliver, we hope that there will be a resurgence of working class militancy, and we hope that this will be a genuinely class conscious and revolutionary militancy.

    But how many people’s lives will have been adversely effected by the neoliberal economic policies and chauvinistic attitude of the Zuma administration by the time it has shown itself incapable of and uninterested in providing a better life for all? How many more workers will have lost their jobs because of the economic crisis; how many more homosexuals and immigrants will have been killed; and how many more women raped?

    We know that Zuma is a chauvinistic, neoliberal patriarch, and his ascendancy to power does not bode well for women, immigrants, homosexuals or the working class in general.

    We need to make clear demands on the Zuma administration, especially in light of the current economic crisis. We must demand a halt to retrenchments, and support organisations such as Cosatu when they make such demands; although we can also advise that more militant strategies and tactics will be necessary to win such demands.

    We need to continue to try to build the social movements by campaigning for service delivery, to hold the government accountable and to pressurise Zuma to make good on his promises. We must work to expose the homophobic, anti-women and anti-working class and poor character of the new administration.

    The social movements, as with the class as a whole, have taken a knock because of the idea that any one individual in power, any leader, can change things for the better. Personality cults, such as that around Zuma, exist in the social movements too, and they must be resisted. It is the ideology of the ruling class, of opportunists and of authoritarians that any one individual leader – or a group of leaders – can improve the conditions of the working class and poor. Personality and leadership cults are built in order to keep people away from taking matters into their own hands, away from collective struggle and mass direct action. And this is exactly what this election, and all other elections, have been about: keeping people away from collective struggle by convincing them that, by marking an ‘x’ on a piece of paper every 5 years; by voting for a party or personality they are contributing to the political life of the country and the betterment of the class.

    We anarchists have always rejected this ideology of the ruling class, because we know that working class emancipation does not come from voting for people to govern on our behalf, be it at national or local level. It comes from the self-management and democratic mass direct action of the class in struggle. Only the working class can free itself.

    Nearly all the core social movements in South Africa took a boycott position in respect to the recent elections. We believe this to be the correct position, and we have consistently argued for it, and will continue to do so in the lead-up to the 2011 local elections.

    Our job now is to consistently speak out against the anti-poor and anti-working class policies of the Zuma administration, push for direct action as opposed to electioneering and class collaboration, support all progressive demands and movements and consistently work towards building social movements and independent trade unionism.

    Sooner or later people will see that Zuma deceived them. By exposing the contradictions between what Zuma says to the working class and poor, and what he says to and does for the ruling class, we can help this to happen sooner rather than later. We need to work now to strengthen the social movements and independent trade unions by means of direct action in order to provide a pole of attraction for working class militancy for when the Zuma honeymoon period eventually comes to an end, so that this militancy is not re-channeled into either the reformist direction of supporting another party-political or personality cult, nor into a more dangerous direction.

    Neither Zuma, nor Zille, nor anyone else can deliver to the poor and working class. We must take.

  8. dickie says:

    In such circumstances, giving to the poor is maybe not a good option.

  9. @ndy says:



    A match made in Heaven.

  10. dickie says:

    I watched the YT vid [where] Mandela sings “Kill the whites”. As I was viewing, it appeared to me, Mandela was not singing, neither was the white man on the far left of the screen. The white man on Mandela’s left hand side was singing?

    At any rate, my curiosity was aroused regarding the meaning of “ama bhulu”. Here’s what I found.

    The direct translation of “ama bhulu” is “Boers”, the plural of Boer, meaning “farmers”.

    The following is the answer from yahoo.com!


    Q:What does “bhulu” really mean?
    A: Answer from answers.yahoo.com by: Porgie (abridged)
    It does in fact mean “white people”. <>my comment!

    Black South Africans used to and some still call “white South Africans” boer. It’s a word derived from the Afrikaans word for farmer.
    “Ama” is the Xhosa prefix that means “a lot of”
    “bhulu” is the Xhosa word for “boer”

    The Xhosa people have a difficult time pronouncing “R”, because the Xhosa pronounce this letter as the “ch” in Reich. They therefore substituted the “r” at the end of “boer” with the letter ”L”. Lastly the “oe” sound is in fact “oo” as in moo or goo. The Xhosa people substituted this sound with the letter “u”.

    So a direct translation should really be “boers”, the plural for “boer”

    Definition of “boer”: (NOUN: A Dutch colonist or descendant of a Dutch colonist in South Africa.
    ETYMOLOGY: Afrikaans, from Dutch, farmer, from Middle Dutch gheboer, peasant; see bheu- in Indo-European roots)
    And that’s the story of “amabhulu”. Some may find it offensive and some may translate it as negative.
    I’m a language practitioner with majors in Afrikaans/Dutch and Xhosa. (by Porgie)

    So my question is: does the terms ama bhulu refer to ALL WHITE PEOPLE? Without offending anyone who may think otherwise, it probably does not! That’s just my opinion, guys! PEACE & GOODWILL!!!

  11. @ndy says:


    Umkhonto we Sizwe.

    They had songs.

    The footage shows Mandela and others gathered together listening to and singing one of these songs whose title is unclear.

  12. dickie says:

    The punchline is: End of Apartheid = End of South Africa. Wouldn’t you agree?

  13. dickie says:

    [‘Brandon Huntley and the Colour of Crime’, Chris Webb, Canadian Dimension, September 7, 2009: canadiandimension.com/blog/2503/]

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