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Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village

The Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village Yesterday

7 July 2014

The Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village Yesterday Madlala Village is situated in the South of Durban near Lamontville Township. The settlement was founded by Siza Madlala in 2012. This community was a home to about 389 residents before they were evicted more than twenty five times. The settlement is now home to about 25 families.

Abahlali in Madlala Village, mostly women, had scheduled a meeting with the leadership of Abahlali in order to present ubuhlalism to the community. This is part of the process for a community to join the movement. This was intended to be the second meeting Abahlali meeting in the community since February this year when we joined the community as friends of the court in the Constitutional Court for the case known as Zulu and 389 other vs MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works and another. The first meeting went very well but at the end of the meeting there came a young man who claimed to own the settlement and warned us that in future we will have to get a permit from local ANC structures and the local councillor or the Abahlali cars will be burnt.

It was clear that the local community was very angry and did not approve his threats. They told us not to worry. We are used to these kinds of threats, as well as anonymous threats by telephone, and we did not worry.

Yesterday when we had just arrived at the settlement and were about to start our meeting we saw a group of about 12 young men. Some of them were drunk while some of them looked very tired and seemed not to have slept. They said to us that this was an ANC area and that we were not welcome without the ward councillor’s permission. They threatened that if we do not leave then they will burn the Abahlali car. It was clear that if the meeting went ahead there would be violence. The police were called in but took time to arrive.

The women who had invited us to Madlala Village have been the victims of municipal land invasion unit. Their homes have been constantly demolished.
They won their victory in the Constitutional Court but it meant nothing to the Municipality. Now they are also victims of the local ANC.

The community told us that the young man who led this group was Mr Siza Madlala. Madlala Village was named after this man. For a long time the community has wanted to change the name of their settlement to Sisonke Village as they have thought that Madlala was acting like he was owning the community and can do whatever pleases him. They wanted a name that was more collective.
The community told us that some of these guys were whoonga boys who are not even known in the area. Siza himself has been threatening women in the area. He did the same thing in Clairwood where he was chased away.

Due to the clear threat of violence the meeting had to be cancelled. We have faced bullying and intimidation and sometimes serious violence by local branches of the ANC since 2005. This culture of intimidation is not new.
However it is getting a lot worse. In most settlements there is someone who is making money from development and who is willing to use violence to protect their position. These people are being enriched by the ANC in order to control people on the ground and to force them to accept oppression.
Now that there are whoonga boys in most settlement it is getting easier to find young men who will support the local party thugs.

It concerns us that after twenty years of democracy there are no-go areas in a
supposedly democratic country perpetrated by individuals who are either members of the ANC or hide behind the ANC flag. We hope the ANC can distance itself from the likes of Madlala. We have always warned of twenty years of shack life as crime against humanity.

ENDS

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