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All Charges Against the Kwandengezi Eight Dropped

All Charges Against the Kwandengezi Eight Dropped

The KwaNdengezi Eight were amongst the eleven comrades arrested on 19 May this year after a protest against their Councillor, the notorious Nqola (Mduduzi Ngcobo). Charges against some comrades were dropped some time ago and on Friday, 26 July 2013, all charges were withdrawn against the remaining eight comrades in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on the grounds that the police had not been able to provide any evidence against the accused.

Since our movement was formed in 2005 there has been a constant pattern of people being arrested on trumped up charges, sometimes assaulted, and forced to pay bail and to keep returning to court until the charges are dropped because there is no evidence against the accused. It has now become clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the charges brought against the members of our movement are routinely fabricated as they cannot stand in court.

There were celebrations into the night in KwaNdengezi on Friday.

However while people were celebrating the recent withdrawal of charges they continued to worry about the situation in the area.

On the same day the we were marching in Siyanda an Induna in KwaNdengezi by the name of Mr. Dingisono Ndlovu was arrested by a team of police investigators who identified themselves as coming from the Provincial Task Team. He was detained for two days, presumably for questioning. When he was released, he alleged that he had been tortured by the police while in custody. The same Induna received medical attention. The movement is not against the police investigating real crimes in the area but we are against any use of torture by the police.

The Inkosi in the area, Mr. B. Shozi, denies having signed any documents authorising the Municipality to take over certain portions of land in the name of development. The people in the area have not given their consent to this development. Yet the Municipality continues to do what it wants without regard to the people living in KwaNdengezi.

The residents of KwaNdengezi remain in limbo. Their concerns have not been addressed. The struggle will continue.

ENDS

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