The ANC threatens violence and death to anti-corruption protesters.
On the 22 February 2012 the Unemployed People's Society called off their planned march and demonstration against housing corruption in Shallcross, a suburb of Durban, after the organisers received death threats from ANC members and the local Councillor.
The night before the march was due to take place the Ward 17 Councillor and a number of local ANC members moved around the area with whistles and issued threats of violence stating that anyone who goes on the march would be killed. The following morning Ms N.E. Shazi, the organisation's co-ordinator and active member of Abahlali baseMjondolo (the shack dwellers movement), woke to find that a large amount of blood had been poured over her gate.
The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement began in Durban, South Africa, in 2005. It is the largest organisation of the militant poor in post-apartheid South Africa.
The movement started with a road blockade from the Kennedy Road settlement in protest against the sale of a piece of land to a developer that had been promised to shack dwellers for housing. Since its inception, Abahlali baseMjondolo has campaigned against the evictions in a number of settlements, democratised the governance of many settlements, won access to schools as well as organised a highly contentious but very successful boycott of the March 2006 local government elections under the slogan ‘No Land, No House, No Vote’.
The movement’s key demand is for ‘Land & Housing in the City’ based on the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) Charter, adopted by more than 3000 landless delegates from around South Africa, at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) held in Durban in 2001.
Since the road blockade in 2005 the movement has grown quickly and now has tens of thousands of supporters from more than 30 settlements and has developed a sustained voice for subaltern shack dwellers in South Africa.
In the last year and a half the movement has suffered more than a hundred arrests, regular police assault and ongoing death threats and other forms of intimidation from local ANC party members. However, the people of Shallcross are clear that they will not accept any further intimidation from the ANC or the corruption of the housing project promised to them and are reconvening and uniting with other organisations to rise up in solidarity against corruption.
For more information visit Abahlali baseMjondolo
Anita de Klerk is a lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy, Marxist activist and founder of the People's Flotilla Against Austerity.
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