re posted from ABAHLALI baseMjondolo
ANC Continues to Encourage Tribalism
20 March 2018
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA. Press Statement
ANC Continues to Encourage Tribalism
Our movement is built from the unity of families, neighbours and communities in struggle. If you live in a land occupation you are from that land occupation irrespective of what language you speak, or the province or country in which you were born.
However the ANC continues to try and weaken the power of impoverished people by attempting to divide us according to the provinces and countries where we were born. The ANC constantly encourages tribalism and xenophobia, especially at the local level. In Durban it is normal for Ward Councillors in the eThekwini Municipality to openly discriminate against people from the Eastern Cape. There are many examples of this.
For instance people have been living in inhuman conditions in the Barcelona 2 ‘transit camp’ since 2007. When they were moved into the ‘transit camp’ they were promised houses in a nearby housing project. The promises made to them turned out to be lies and more than ten years later they remain stuck in terrible indignity. The ward councillor in the area does not recognise them. She has called them “AmaMpondo” and said that they are not entitled to benefit from housing projects that are meant for the Zulu community. She continues to say that they deserve to live like pigs in a pig sty because they do not belong in Kwazulu-Natal. Houses that were promised to the people of Barcelona are now occupied by the Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans and members of SANCO.
This is not unusual. For example in New City Ward 15 the Ward Councillor has openly said that those who come from the Eastern Cape must go back to their province because they are not entitled to any land in Kwazulu-Natal. Recently another the ANC ward councillor has blamed people from the Eastern Cape for the escalation in the number of shacks in the municipality.
These kinds of statements are also made by senior people in the ANC. There have been a number of occasions when this has been reported in the media. For example in 2013 the senior leadership of the ANC in the region accused the chairperson of Abahali in Cato Crest of bringing people from the Eastern Cape to occupy land in the province and blamed the government’s failure to provide land and housing on people from the Eastern Cape moving into the Province. When the movement was attacked in 2009 in Kennedy Road the movement was accused of bringing people from the Eastern Cape into Durban. Highly discriminatory statements were made against people from the Eastern Cape by a senior leader in the party.
In Kennedy Road in 2009 local and more senior ANC leaders actively conspired to support violence against our movement that was justified in the language of tribalism. This continues. In November last year our branch chairperson was murdered in Sisonke Village in violence encouraged by the local ANC leadership. Today the community lives in fear as there are ANC people who go around saying that they are going to get rid of the “AmaMpondo” once and for all.
The ANC claims to be committed to the Freedom Charter which clearly states that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.” Yet no action is taken against the many ANC leaders that openly try and encourage xenophobia and tribalism in order to divide and weaken impoverished people, and to blame impoverished people from other countries and provinces for their failures as the government.
People in Durban are not impoverished, and living without land and housing, because their neighbour was born in a different country or province. People are impoverished and denied land and housing because of a long history of oppression that is now being continued by the ANC.
Tribalism is a form of oppression and control. Unity is the
foundation of our power and our capacity for resistance.
We are very concerned by the continuous perpetration of tribal violence that is encouraged by the ANC leadership in the municipality. We call on the ANC to clearly distance itself from tribalism. We have resisted the attempt to control and divide us via xenophobia and tribalism for more than ten years and we will continue to do so by building unity in struggle.
South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
Source: Abahlali baseMjondolo