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AN URGENT CALL TO DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY,SUPPORT THE VOICELESS AND JOIN THE “ABAHLALI 13 PRAYER SERVICE”
To all clergy and church leaders of Durban
By now many will be aware of the recent events in Kennedy Road and the subsequent arrests of thirteen members of the grassroots movement known as Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM).
But just to be sure, here are some facts which we feel are important right now:
On 26 September, at 11.30pm, a group of 30 to 40 men, wielding pangas, sticks and guns surrounded the community hall in Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban and launched a violent attack. Kennedy Road is the original home of AbM, the social movement of shackdwellers. In the violence that followed over the next few nights and days, people died, many fled and the shacks of a number of known AbM activists were systematically destroyed. All this while local and provincial ANC leaders proclaimed the events to be a liberation of Kennedy Road and installed ANC leadership over the community. Soon after the attack, 13 members of AbM were arrested and charged with various counts, including murder and aggravated assault, some as far afield as the Eastern Cape.