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RSA:Police shoot residents in Sth Africa protest

The Gugulethu police interrupted a peaceful protest by the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign this afternoon. Without warning residents at all, they shot at us with rubber bullets injuring dozens and arresting many others.

The much of the crowd was made up of old women and there were a lot of children also present. A 17 year old lady was shot in the face by the police and is now seriously injured and at the hospital.

At the moment we are not sure how many people have been shot and arrested. We do know, however, that today the police attempted to illegally banthe public protest which has been going on since Monday. From Monday through Wednesday, the police behaved respectuflly and helped escort us when we marched towards the mall. Today, they would not let us march. So a delegation of AEC activists went today to the Civic Centre in Cape Town to get a permit but we were prevented by police from entering the Civic Centre.

Why this sudden shift today in the way the police are treating us?

What we do know is that business tycoon Mzoli Ngcawuzele and councillor Belinda Landingwe have deep political connections and close friends within the Gugulethu Police. They have oppressed our movementin the past and shot at usbefore. They have arrested members of our movement and even physically threatened them through the use of local ANC thugs.

We believe that the police banned our march and then attacked us because we to big of a thorn in Mzoli's side. We believe that the police attack was orchestrated by Mzoli and Belinda to prevent us from exposing the truth about the corruption and nepotism at the Gugulethu Square Mall. We believe that the police were ordered to attack us because we refused to work with the ANC's Gugulethu Development Forum which plays party politics with our lives.

We believe that the attack on our movement corresponds with a dangerous trend in South Africa where the police are being militarised and being given political sanction to attack outspoken critics of the goverment such as the Anti-Eviction Campaign and Abahlali baseMjondolo (see Kennedy Road attacks).


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