Members of Abahlali baseMjondolo have been murdered by militia commanded by local ANC party bosses. Abahlali is the shack-dwellers movement in South Africa, struggling for housing, land and basic services. They have faced increased police repression and it seems clear these attacks, which targeted well-known leaders of Abahlali, were tolerated by the police.

Follow Abahlali’s website for updates.

Watch Mazwi Nzimande, president of the Shack Dwellers Movement’s youth league, interviewed on Democracy Now.

Statement by Abahlali baseMjondolo president S’bu Zikode:

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) from South Africa has released a statement putting the attacks in context.

They write:

“The political rivalry in KwaZulu Natal has exploited ethnic sentiment and tensions that emerged during the Jacob Zuma election campaign, and we believe that the African National Congress (ANC) in and around Kennedy Road, and probably elsewhere, is using ethnicity to mobilise local residents against popular social movements such as Abahlali baseMjondolo. It seems clear to us that the popularly elected committee in the Kennedy Road settlement, and the social work they have been doing is perceived by local political leaders from the ANC to be a threat to political and property interests, and they are thus bent on destroying AbM.”

One thought on “Abahlali baseMjondolo attacked by ANC militia

  1. I remember a few years back ANC politicians were accusing Abahlali of being a “3rd Force”, a white controlled organization in the tradition of the Black militias that were sponsored by the white supremacist apartheid regime to divide and conquer the Black liberation movement.

    The irony is that now the ANC government itself seems to be resorting to this kind of military divide and conquer to maintain its rule.

    Whose interests are they protecting? Its difficult for many folks internationally to criticize them because they are the party of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid revolutionary movement. But now it seems they are functioning as the bodyguards of the white business elite and the new Black political and middle classes.

    If anyone is continuing the anti-apartheid struggle today it is Abahlali, and as the Zabalaza Anarchists pointed out.

    As some of us here in Seattle begin doing unemployed organizing we can certainly take inspiration from Abahlali’s struggles. Like them, our communities are facing eviction and clearance/enclosure. The government and business elites are driving people of color out of Seattle hoods to build new townhomes for bourgie white folks. Whatever shitty jobs that used to hire youth of color are evaporating. Police repression and private security harassment are increasing.

    They’re throwing more and more people of color out of the Seattle city limits into southern unincorporated King County where there is little infrastructure and no established sense of community. Folks from different neighborhoods, gangs, and sets with rivalries are being thrown into the same crowded high school classrooms and violence is increasing. The major and the political elite wring their hands about the rise in youth violence, and are funding a prestigious “youth violence initiative”. But none of them are asking how this violence might be linked to unemployment, to enclosure and gentrification, to the disruption of working class Black community infrastructure.

    Of course what we’re dealing with here isn’t anywhere as bad as what’s happening in Kennedy Road, but it’s important we see the connections in order to build an international sense of Black liberation and in order to break down the racist American exceptionalism that frames this kind of violence as some sort of resurgence of primitive African barbarism.

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