Woman’s League Press Statement
6 March 2013
Woman’s League Press Statement
Protocols are a waste of time for the poor; Appointments are delaying tactics while we suffer.
On Saturday 2 March 2013,Abahlali BaseMjondolo Woman’s League had its General Meeting. KwaNdengezi branch was present and shared their painful story of living under constant threat from their Ward 12 councillor and are not even sleeping in their own homes due to threats.
They cried about the councillor, Mr Mduduzi Christian Ngcobo, who, during the day, is a councillor for the eThekwini municipality but then by night becomes a dangerous hit man. He goes around knocking on peoples’ doors warning them not to interfere and challenge the corrupt RDP alloation process.
These days the situation has become even more volatile: gun shots are now heard every night. One of the nights, “Gogo X”, an elder AbM member, told us that she heard gun shots from the councillor's activities very close to her house. Gogo X kept quiet during the shooting and because the sound was coming closer and closer to her door, she closed her children’s mouths to prevent them from screaming. The following morning, she found some cartridges on the ground next to her home. Gogo X has asked not be named because Cllr. Nqola sends death threats to such activists who speak out.
Every time these incidents take place, community members report it to the police station. But still, police are doing nothing about the shootings even thoughthey know Cllr. Ncobo is involved. Yet the whole community of KwaNdengezi has liitle doubt that Councillor Mduduzi Christian Ngcobo of Ward 12 goes around with a group of armed men threatening Abm activists in the area. The community is in fear because they know his dangerious background. Many incidents have happened including the killing of a child who was run over by his Navarra bakkie. Yet despite the reports and cases against him, the police refuses to take any steps against him.
Commissioner Dlamini of the KwaNdengezi SAPS Station was fired last week on Friday. We are aware that one of the reasons he was fired is because he has been hiding all the cases against Cllr Ngcobo under carpet and preventing them from being investigated. We hope that now the cases will now be taken seriously.
Once again, this morning at around 01:00am we heard some cars driving around near Abahlali member’s homes. Soon gun shots could be heard firing at the home of the Abahlali baseMjondolo chairperson in the community. Luckily, no one was injured. However everybody knows that chairperson Thuli Ndlovu’s house has been attacked many times in the past few months – the bullet holes at her home show that she has been targeted.
Because of this violence, Women's League of Abahlali BaseMjondolo took a decision that it was time they march inside the City Hall offices to demand the intervention of the Speaker Logie Naidooin this matter. People are now living in fear and the municipality better do something about it.
This morning at 10h54, 20 Abahlali women marched inside the premises of City Hall. We were however prevented from entering to see the Speaker. After a long argument only two members were allowed inside to she the Speaker and they represented the other women who were present.
We were, however, shocked and angry that Mr Desmond Myeza, the Manager at the Office of the Speaker and the same person who received our memorandum on 31th of August, attended to our concerns. Mr. Myeza has up until today never responded to this memorandum. However, Mr. Myeza shamefully and heartlessly told them that the Council cannot help them; “this is just the matter for the police”. He even refused to arrange any meeting pertaining this issue with Cllr Ngcobo. He argued that the matter had nothing to do with politics. As it was a criminal matter, he suggested that we women go to SAPS. Mr Myeza further denied that it is the Speaker of the Council's responsibility to call into order unruly and lazy councillors.
It was shocking and painful that the Municipality is protecting violent and corrup councillors and is not even willing to wipe the tears of old grannies that have gone to them for help. It is clear that the Municipality is running away from taking responsibility for its councillors' actions. “Comradism” is still an order of the day.
read in the papers that Concillor Logie Naidoo has dismissed
DA councillors, but we know that when it comes to ANC
councillors, heprotects them.
• We demand that the housing project be stopped immediately and an open and democratic public meeting be held with KwaNdengezi community immediately.
• We demand that Cllr. Nqola steps down pending investigations regarding the serious allegations made against him.
• We demand that the eThekwini Municipality not be run like a spaza shop.
• We demand that the Speaker, Logie Naidoo, and the Mayor, James Nxumalo, intervene into this matter.
Every human being has the right to sleep peacefully in their own homes. We are tired of councillors who abuse people because they know that the are protected by their comrades. Sekwanele! Enough is enough!
Abahlali baseMjondolo, together with with Landless People's Movement (Gauteng), the Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, is part of the Poor People's Alliance - a national network of democratic membership based poor people's movements.
Abahlali baseMjondolo http://www.abahlali.org
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign http://antieviction.org.za/
AbM Facebook Group:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=19659923423
baseMjondolo Solidarity Campaign Network UK
Abahlali baseMjondolo Solidarity Group Namibia http://respectnamibia.ning.com/groups/group/show?id=3153753%3AGroup%3A6063&xg_source=msg_mes_group
Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo in Italy http://clandestino.carta.org/category/mondiali
Solidarity with the Poor People's Alliance in Germany http://akkrise.wordpress.com/sudafrika/
Abahlali is also in solidarity with other poor people's movements including:
The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign http://chicagoantieviction.org/
The Combined Harare Resident's Association http://www.chra.co.zw/
The London Coalition Against Poverty http://www.lcap.org.uk/
The Mandela Park Backyarders http://mpbackyarders.org.za/
Picture the Homeless http://www.picturethehomeless.org/
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Take Back the Land http://takebacktheland.org/
Land & Freedom!
Visit Abahlali baseMjondolo at www.abahlali.org and www.khayelitshastruggles.com
The Poor People's Alliance: Abahlali baseMjondolo, together with with Landless People's Movement (Gauteng), the Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, is part of the Poor People's Alliance - a unfunded national network of democratic membership based poor people's movements.