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#Durban, #SouthAfrica: Impunity for Attempted Murder

South Africa. April 25. 2020. Yesterday we secured an interdict against the illegal and violent evictions that the eThekwini Municipality has been carrying out in the eKhenana settlement in Cato Crest during the lockdown. We had previously secured an interdict against illegal evictions in this community in February 2019 but we had to return to court as the municipality was evicting in violation of this interdict, the law, the Constitution and the lockdown regulations.

Submitted to Enough 14.

Yesterday, immediately after we secured the interdict against the eThekwini Municipality, Mr. Mkhize, the leader of the city’s notorious Land Invasion Unit went to eKhenana to continue his attack on the community. Mkhize went wild in anger at Abahlali winning in court and fired live ammunition at the community. This is not the first time that we have been violently attacked after winning in court.

Yamkela Vezi was shot and is fighting for his life in hospital. This is clearly a matter of attempted murder. Mkhize may wear a uniform and be paid a salary by the eThekwini Municipality but he is as much a hitman as any of the izinkabi.

We would like to remind the press that the ANC openly attacked our movement in the Kennedy Road settlement in 2009, with the support of the police and the senior politicians in the City and the Province. We would like to remind the press that in 2016 two ANC councillors Mduduzi Ngcobo and Velile Lutsheko were convicted of murder and given life sentences for the assassinations of one of our leaders, Thuli Ndlovu, in 2014. We would like to remind the press that in 2018 Phumlani Ndlovu, a police officer at the notorious KwaKito police station in Cato Manor was convicted for the murder of one of our members, Nqobile Nzuza, a 17-year-old girl. We would like to remind the press that since 2013 a total of 18 of our members have been murdered in Durban.

Last night Mkhize was seen at King Edward, the hospital where Yamkela is fighting for his life. There are strong fears that Mkhize was either there to intimidate the hospital staff into changing medical records to remove evidence or to have Yamkela poisoned.

This fear is not unfounded. On the 30th of June 2012 Bhekimuzi Ndlovu was shot in the Zakheleni shack settlement in Umlazi after a series of protests against the local councillor and for land and housing. The Unemployed People’s Movement reported that the next day he was visited in hospital by a delegation from the local ANC. They said that they wanted to pray for him. Shortly after they left he became violently ill. The doctor diagnosed poisoning.

Murder is normal, in the capital of blood, KwaZulu-Natal. In the last ten years there have been at least 140 political assassinations in Durban alone. The situation is just as bad in smaller towns like Estcourt.

We pray for the speedy recovery of Yamkela.

This morning delegates from eKhenana went to the notorious KwaKito police station to report the attempted murder. They took the cartridges from the live ammunition fired by Mkhize as evidence. The police refused to open a case. This is the fourth time that officers at KwaKito have refused to open cases against the Land Invasion Unit or Calvin & Family Security. Captain Sibiya and officers Mahlangu and Cele all refused to open a case against Mkhize. They even refused to accept evidence in the form of the cartridges of the bullets fired by Mkhize.

It is typical for the police to refuse to open cases against ANC ward councillors, their committees, other police officers, the Anti-Land Invasion Unit and private security companies working for the City. It is typical for police officers to think that their job is to enforce the rule of the City and the ANC, and not to impartially enforce the rule of law.

The spokesperson for the eThekwini Municipality, Musawakhe Mayisela, keeps insisting that the municipality only destroys new unoccupied shacks. This is an outright lie as anyone who comes to the occupations and observes the evictions can see for themselves. People’s long-term homes are destroyed all the time. When an occupation has been attacked more than 40 times, like Azania in Cato Manor, a new shack does not mean a new resident. It means that a person who has been living on the land for a long time has had to rebuild as a result of the repeated illegal destruction of their home by the municipality.

Mayisela keeps insisting that Abahlali should report allegations of lawlessness to the police but he knows very well that the police are acting on the instruction of the City and that we cannot open cases with the police against the City, its Land Invasion Unit or Calvin & Family Security.

Mkhize is a hitman. Mayisela is a paid liar. Mkhize enforces violent state attacks on impoverished black people. Mayisela lies to defend those attacks. Both men must live with blood on their conscience.

This gangster City needs to be stopped.  This gangster police station needs to be stopped. This gangster private security company needs to be stopped.

We repeat that the eThekwini Municipality is a rogue municipality where the politic of blood has replaced the rule of law. Here impoverished black people are beaten, tortured, shot and murdered with full impunity in the name of “siyidolobha elinakekelayo” (“we are a caring City”).

The violence is relentless. The attacks on our communities are relentless. The disregard for the law and our humanity is relentless.

The lockdown is being used as cover by a gangster municipality for an attempt to destroy our movement. The City has launched a war on our movement under the cover of the lockdown.

Today at 11:30am the Land Invasion Unit arrived in eKhenana. They came as if for a war. They threatened the community. They said that the court judgements do not apply to them. They said they run the City and not judges. We believe them because there are no consequences for their actions. They come, again and again, to destroy our homes, to burn and steal our possessions, and to insult us, beat us and shoot us. They have successfully subverted the law.

The judges issue pieces of paper in court. The Land Invasion Unit, and Calvin & Family security come to our communities with axes and guns. Durban is ruled by the gun, not the law.

When they were finished at eKhenana this morning the Land Invasion Unit then went to the Azania occupation in Cato Manor and destroyed multiple homes. Mkhize was there, in his uniform, burning people’s belongings.

There is always a price for silence. Too many people in our country pretend that killing impoverished black people is normal. Too many people pretend that the gangsterisation of the ANC in Durban, and therefore the gangsterisation of the City, is normal.

When Thuli Ndlovu was assassinated some ANC members were ululating and celebrating. When you can no longer see humanity and have no mercy you have become a monster. The eThekwini Municipality, its Land Invasion Unit, many of its councillors, the police officers at KwaKito and Calvin & Family Security are all monsters. Monsters have no ubuntu. They always turn on each other.

We are facing a war in Durban.

Abahlali baseMojondolo, April 25, 2020.

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