Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
5 December 2012
SAPS Attempt to Illegally Ban Protest in Durban
The Abahlali baseMjondolo branch in the Palmiet Road shack settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, has decided to march on the Ward 23 councillor, Themba Mtshali. They have been supported in this decision by all other Abahlali baseMjondolo branches in the ward.
Mtshali is one of the shack dwellers who became a councillor in the last local government elections as part of the ANC's strategy of trying to contain our movement – a strategy that has included serious repression and intimidation, attempts at co-option, channelling our victories through ANC structures and bringing non-AbM shack dwellers into positions of leadership in the local party structures. However like all other councillors Mtshali is remoted from above and is only an instrument for implementing top down decisions by the party and municipal structures. He does not engage people democratically. In fact it is impossible to even arrange a meeting with him. He has failed the people of Ward 23 and in particular he has failed the poor of Ward 23. Even though he was poor himself a few years ago he is now a councillor and so, as with all councillors, we are not worthy of respect in his eyes because we are poor.