24 April 2015
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement
UnFreedom Day 2015: 21 years of Exclusion and Repression
Once again ‘Freedom Day’ is here. Once again we will be told that we are free. Once again we will be lectured about our about freedom and told to accompany the politicians, businessmen and the rich to their stadiums.
21 years of shack life has not been easy for us. In 21 years of ANC rule lies and evictions have become the order of the day. The land has not been restored to the people. Our dignity has been vandalized. In 2005 we delcared our humanity. The response of the ANC has been lies, the denial of life saving basic services, arrest, assault, imprisonment, illegal evictions, torture, armed attacks by members of the ruling party, the destruction of our homes by members of the ruling party and assassination. The vandalization of our humanity has become even more extreme. We are not alone. We do not forget Marikana. We do not forget all the people murdered by the police on protests around the country. We do not forget all the harassment and violence against people born in other countries.
This so called freedom has meant exclusion from democratic processes and decision making. It has meant exclusion from the housing list and, yes, it has meant that we must be removed from the housing list to be placed on the death list. We have seen miners murdered in cold blood in Marikana. We have seen Nkululeko Gwala, Thembinkosi Qumbela and Nqobile Nzuza of Cato Crest murdered in cold blood and, yes, we have seen Thuli Ndlovu murdered in KwaNdengezi. Here and there our struggle pushes back at the forces of oppression. In KwaNdengezi ANC councillors Luvelile Lutyeku and Nqola Ngcobo having been arrested and charged with the murder of Thuli Ndlovu.
On Sunday Abahlali will again be mourning the loss of our freedom to serve the interests of the ruling elites. While many South Africans will be celebrating freedom day, Abahlali will insist that the shack dwellers and the poor in South Africa deserve real freedom and real democracy. we will be joined by our comrades from the Congolese solidarity campaign.
We want to remind all democrats that our freedom is not something that is held in the hands of the politicians and renewed on the 27 April of every year. Freedom means us respecting other human beings and them respecting our right to live freely. It is freedom to organize freely in our settlements and freedom to participate in all decision making that affects our lives and our well-being. Freedom means a right to our land of birth that is free from eviction by the land invasion units. Freedom means land and dignity. Freedom means that land, wealth and political power must be shared. Freedom means that South African belongs to all who live in it no matter where they were born or what language they speak.
While freedom day is celebrated by the ruling party on the 27th of April, Abahlali will hold our Unfreedom Day Rally on Sunday, 26 April 2015, at 11am at Cato Crest Sport Ground. We will use this opportunity to condemn xenophobia and to remember our fallen heroes and heroes with a special gesture.