30 September 2013
Abahlali BaseMjondolo Press Statement
Nqobile Nzuza, 17-Year Old School Girl, Shot Dead with Live Ammunition by the Cato Manor SAPS (Durban)
Nqobile Nzuza, a 17-year old girl, a grade 9 learner at Bonella High School and an Abahlali baseMjondolo supporter, was gunned down at around 5:00 a.m. this morning. Nqobile was shot twice from behind with live ammunition. Luleka Makhwenkwana was also shot in her arm with live ammunition and she in King Edward Hospital. Thulisile Zide fainted and went unconscious, she is also in hospital.
This is shoot-to-kill policing. This is the crackdown that the police and politicians promised on protests. This is policing that is willing to murder to suppress the struggle for real justice and real freedom. This is policing that is used to oppress the people in the interests of the ruling party and the tenderpreurs and gangsters that have seized control of it in Durban.
On Saturday 21 September 2013, Mr. Goven from the Land Invasions Unit shot Nkosinathi Mngomezulu in the stomach during an illegal eviction in Cato Crest. Mr. Goven is not arrested yet Mngomezulu is under arrest in hospital. Our members have been assaulted in the Cato Crest police station after evictions and protests, and yet no action is taken against the officers that beat our members.
We have been subject to illegal evictions nine times in Cato Crest. Our court orders are just ignored and yet the Land Invasions Unit are never arrested. On the 26th of June 2013, Nkululeko Gwala was assassinated in Cato Crest. No one is arrested for this crime. We all know that it has not been properly investigated. Three months earlier, Thembikosi Qumbelo was assassinated. Again there are no arrests and there has been no proper investigation. ANC members openly threaten us with death and the police never act against them.
This morning around 500 members of Abahlali baseCato Crest organized a road blockade. They also organized road blockades last week along with comrades in other areas like Clare Estate and Isipingo. The reason for the road blockades is that although we were thousands in our march on the City Hall on 16 September 2013, our memoranda were not answered. The road blockades were organized to force the City to answer our memoranda. The Cato Crest memorandum at the march demanded that the City stop its illegal evictions in the area, stop its corruption, stop trying to divide people by the provinces that they come from, stop lying and saying that Xhosa-speaking people are new to Durban, stop saying that Xhosa speaking people must ‘go back to the Transkei’ and that the ANC, the City and the police must stop the illegal and violent repression of our members and our struggle.
Abahlali members say that they saw the Cato Manor Station Commander shooting Nqobile Nzuza at the road blockade this morning. They say that he was not in his uniform when he murdered her but that he came back later in his police full uniform. Our members witnessed what happened and are willing to tell anyone what they saw.
Nqobile’s family arrived in Cato Crest in 1994. Yet her family is one of those that the ANC and the municipality claim are not known to this area. Loyal ANC new comers are rewarded with housing in a controversial and corrupt housing project that is underway while others who are not ANC are evicted, beaten and murdered.
Mzimuni Ngiba, an ANC councillor and a gangster, was also seen shortly before Nqobile was shot, wearing a cooper hat. Ngiba asked protesters if there was a march this morning while trying to hide face. He spoke face-to-face with some comrades as he tried to hide his face.
Bandile Mdlalose was the first to arrive at Cato Crest to extend Abahlali’s solidarity with the Nzuza family and with Abahlali baseCato Crest. As soon as the police were shown by local ANC that she is the Abahlali General Secretary, she was just grabbed from the pavement and arrested. As soon as she entered the police station gate Mzimuni Ngiba, local ANC councilor, arrived with his izinkabi (hitmen). Then the car with tinted windows and registration NDM 8 arrived. We believe it was Mayor James Nxumalo that arrived at the station. Then MEC Willies Mchunu and MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo who is also an ANC Chairperson in eThekwini Region arrived at the Cato Manor police station. We do not know what the arrest of Bandile has to do with him and his ANC. But we do know that Willies Mchunu arrived very quickly on the scene to tell lies and try to justify the attack on our movement in Kennedy Road in 2009. He also announced then that a decision had been taken to ‘disband’ our movement.
We have made it very clear that Abahlali will not accept any politic of fear and politic of blood. We will continue fighting for what is right for our rights.
The police are claiming that they had to shoot with live ammunition to save their lives. This is a simple lie. We note that some media are repotting the police statement on this matter as if it is the truth. We would like to remind the media that the police in Durban have a long history of lying. Remember how they lied about Marikana! Remember how they lied about the attack on our movement in the Kennedy Road settlement in 2009! Remember how in 2006 they lied and said that they had shot Monica Ngcobo, a 19 year old woman, in the stomach with rubber bullets at a protest in Umlazi and yet the autopsy showed that she was shot in the chest with a shotgun.
We have exposed police lies in court on many occasions. We will expose today’s lies in court too. The police are not to be trusted. We urge all media to please make their own investigations and give everyone a chance to speak before reporting the lies of the police as if they are facts. Do not believe anything that they say unless they bring credible evidence to support what they are saying. Police spokespeople are paid liars. It is simple as that.