This is what (state) democracy (really) looks like in South Africa....
Update 14: January 2010 - There is now some video footage of the march (taken before the police attack) on YouTube here and here.
Update 13: January 2009 - The Human Rights Watch 2009 World Report makes specific mention of the violent attack by the Sydenham Police on this peaceful Abahlali march in its Chapter on South Africa. The Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions also condemned the Sydenham Police for this attack, and other actions against Abahlali, and called for a commission of inquiry into the Sydenham police in a report on housing rights in Durban issued last year.
Update 12: 29 January, 2008 - All charges against the Abahlali 14 were dropped in the Durban Magistrate's Court today after the prosecutor told the Magistrate that "there is no possibility of a successful prosecution in this matter." As the 50 or so Bahlali exited the court Mam Kikine, who was one of the 14, and who was shot 5 times in the back with rubber bullets at close range during the March on Mlaba in September last year, asked "Uphi uNayager nezinja zakhe?"
Update 11: The case has been remanded till 28 January 2008. There is an article on the march (and its violent repression) in groundWork's December newsletter.
Update 10 13/11/2007: The next court appearance for the Sydenham 14 will now be on 28 November 2007 in the regional court. Also, Mashumi Figlan's response to the police attack on the march has finally been loaded onto this site and the new issue of iBandla koweZindlu is all about the march and its repression.
Update 9: Click here for the minutes of the meeting held with Church Leaders to discuss the violent police attack on the march, here for an article on the police attack and the debate about dangers to democracy in South Africa by Stephen Friedman, here for a follow up article by Na'eem Jeenah and here for the full exchange of letters between COHRE and City Manager Michael Sutcliffe.
Update 8: Only 6 days after the criminal police attack on the Abahlali march police attacked a protest against the illegal eviction of 50 families who have been living in Sea Cow Lake for 8 years wounding still more people and arresting a further eleven. The municipality tried to justify their illegal evictions in the name of the Slums Act. The Sydenham 14 appeared in court on 2 October and the case was remanded for further police investigation. The next court date is 13 November.
Update 7: Click here to see the first batch of pictures to have come through the net of water cannon damage and police confiscation and deletion, here to read Police Violence in Sydenham, 28 September, 2007: A Testimony by Church Leaders, here to read An Open Letter to Obed Mlaba & Mike Sutcliffe by the Centre on Housing Rights & Evictions (Geneva), here to read a report on these two statements in the Sunday Tribune, here for some newspaper pictures of the march and here for the article in the Weekly Gazette.
Update 6 (Sunday, midnight): Click here to read S'bu Zikode's response to the attack on the march - Silencing the Right to Speak is Taking Away Citizenship and here and here for responses from Jacques Depelchin (DRC) and Anilliah Masaraure (Zimbabwe), here for a short solidarity statement from Peoples' House in Turkey and here for a solidarity statement from the people of Dikmen Valley, Ankara, Turkey.
Update 5 (Sunday evening): Numerous people have suffered minor injuries and the list of people who have received or who are receiving hospital treatment includes 2 people from Kennedy Road, 2 people from Joe Slovo (Durban), 1 person from Isaka ('Maritzburg) and 1 person from eNkwalini. Ma Kikine, 53, of Joe Slovo has been shot 5 times in the back and once on the back of the left arm at close range with rubber bullets. She is obviously frail and was obviously in great pain but did not receive any medical attention while in custody.
Update 4: Click here for the Memorandum that Mlaba didn't bother to come and collect, here for an article in the Independent on Saturday, here for an eyewitness account by Mark Butler, here for comment from Mnikelo Ndabankulu, here for comment from Brother Fillipo Mondini (here for a response by Jacques Depelchin), here for An open letter to Lindiwe Sisulu from 'Citizens Against Privatization' in New Zealand and here for an article in the Italian magazine Carta.