Thuli Ndlovu was gunned down in her home in September. This was no accident, as she predicted this would happen and believed she was a target because she demanding change. This petition is about justice for her and many others.
Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is a grassroots, democratic and member-led organisation based in Durban, a city in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. AbM have an impressive record of exposing corruption and asserting the constitutional rights of thousands of the marginalised shack-dwelling people. We, the undersigned, are in support of the resolve of AbM members to strive for more participatory forms of development and to advance the struggle for access to urban land.
We condemn all assassinations, political murders and other acts of violence and intimidation against AbM members and housing rights activists. In the past 18 months, four housing rights activists have been killed. This includes two prominent AbM members:
1. Thembinkosi Qumbelo (assassination, Cato Crest) - 15 March 2013
2. Nkululeko Gwala, aged 34 (assassination, Cato Crest) - 26 June 2013
3. Nqobile Nzuzua, aged 17 (police murder, Cato Crest) - 30 September 2013
4. Thuli Ndlovu, aged 36 (assassination, KwaNdengezi) - 29 September 2014
We also note that more than 450 political assassinations have been documented in post-Apartheid South Africa with the majority taking place in KwaZulu-Natal province. We are troubled by the reports of collusion by the police and elected officials in the recent attacks on the Cato Crest. We place our solidarity with all activists facing repression in South Africa.
We believe that it is the right of people to engage in activism that is free of repression.
• We call on the South African government to create safe spaces for peaceful dialogue between housing activists and local, national and provincial authorities
• We call on the South African government to investigate the murders of these activists through a formal process of inquiry.
• We believe that the democratic state of South Africa has a duty to protect its citizens.
Some founding signatories:
Dr Lewis Gordon, Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor at Rhodes University (South Africa), European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès (France);
Firoze Manji, Pambazuka Press
Dr Raj Patel, University of Texas, USA
Dr Gillian Hart, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Faranak Miraftab, University of Illinois, USA
Professor John Holloway, Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico
Marcelo Lopes de Souza, Brazil
Nigel C. Gibson PhD, Emerson College, Boston, USA
David Graeber, London School of Economics, UK
Dr Richard Pithouse, Rhodes University, South Africa
Professor Marie Huchzermeyer, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Professor Michael Neocosmos, Director UHURU, Rhodes University, South Africa
Dr Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland
Professor Raymond Suttner, South Africa
Jacques Depelchin, Ota Benga International Alliance for Peace, USA
Pauline E. Wynter, Ota Benga International Alliance for Peace, USA
Mandisi Majavu, South Africa
Chika Mba PhD, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Professor Steven Friedman, Director, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Kerry Chance, USA
Dr Nicole Ulrich, Rhodes University, South Africa
Anna Selmeczi, SARChI: Social Change at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa
This petition will be sent to the South African Government and its embassies around the world. There will be three international solidarity demonstrations at South African Embassies across the world.
On Friday 21st November 2014:
New York, USA: 3pm (EST) at the South African Consulate 333 E 38th St, New York, NY 10016 - Called by Picture the Homeless & Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary
Budapest, Hungary: 3pm (GMT+1) South Africa Embassy, 1026 Budapest, Gárdonyi Géza utca 17 - Called by A Város Mindenkié (The City is for all)
On Saturday 22nd November 2014:
London: 2pm (GMT) at South Africa High Commission, South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP - Called by Abahlali UK Solidarity
We stand with Abahlali to end all political assassinations & attacks in South Africa.
If you want to organise a protest in your area, contact https://www.facebook.com/AbahlaliUKSolidarity