Friday, July 20, 2012

South Africa: Solidarity with the occupation in Umlazi


July 2012


In full solidarity with the organised and fighting community of the Zakheleni shack settlement (in Ward 88 in Umlazi), the Democratic Left Front (DLF) calls on all other poor communities, trade unions, people’s organisations and activists in eThekwini to support the ongoing occupation of municipal offices in Umlazi by the community. We call on progressive organisations to send activists to be part of the occupation. We call for support of the popular education activities taking place at the occupation. We call for material support (food, tents, blankets and other basics) to provide subsistence to the Zakheleni activists leading the occupation. We call for support for the weekly People’s Assembly held at 11h00 every Sunday. This Sunday’s People’s Assembly will prepare for the community meeting with the eThekwini municipality planned for Monday next week.

The Zakheleni occupation has been ongoing since the beginning of last week. Despite death threats and attacks by a local hit-squad, the community daringly expressed their demands including that the useless ANC local ward councilor, Nomzamo Mkhize, must be removed from her elected position. Several comrades have also been threatened by this hit squad. Some have been shot at and physically attacked. The UPM and the AbM are following up these cases. This has included a Mandela Day protest which forced the police to arrest some of the accused members of the hit squad. For the past seven days of the occupation, many people have continued to ask Mkhize for help and service. She has failed to respond to these requests. She is disrespectful and people are asked to produce ANC membership cards in order to get assistance from her.

At the various community assemblies held as part of the occupation, the people of Zakheleni have resolved that “The Councillor’s office shall be closed and a new People’s Office will be opened”. The community has also consistently argued that “We are not interested in party political feuds, but we are part society and all we need is development”.

The DLF also salutes the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) and Abahlali BaseMijondolo (AbM) for their effective organisation and leadership of the Zakheleni community struggle. To add support political and organisational support to the occupation, representatives of DLF-affiliated social movements in Gauteng joined the occupation on Tuesday. These comrades include Simphiwe Zwane (elected councilor representing the Operation Khanyisa Movement in the City of Joburg, Siyabulela Faku (from the Vaal Community Assembly), General Alfred Moyo (from the Makause Community Development Forum) and Abraham Molati (from the Zandspruit Democratic Left Society). The DLF is made up of various community organisations, social movements, left groups and individual activists all united to build a broad anti-capitalist front of solidarity, movement-building and struggle to win poor and working people’s demands. We are united on struggles for universal access to decommodified basic services, an end to unemployment, end to the violence against women, and ecological justice.



Simphiwe Zwane (Operation Khanyisa Movement & Gauteng DLF) –

China Ngubane (DLF) – 072 651 9790

Bheki Buthelezi (UPM & DLF) – 072 639 9893

Mazibuko K. Jara (DLF) – 083 651 0271

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