Representatives from the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE), the Inyanda National Land Movement and the Rural Women’s Assembly met with Abahlali baseMjondolo to discuss how to strengthen solidarity between the movements. This meeting was held on the 12th of June 2022 at Abahlali baseMjondolo offices.
The delegation was welcomed by Deputy Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo, Mqapheli Bonono, General Secretary Thapelo Molapo and the Chairperson of eKhenana Commune Lindokuhle Mnguni. The Inyanda National Movement handed over clothes that was collected by members of Abahlali baseMjondolo who were affected by the devastating floods this year. KwaZulu Natal was hit by floods twice this year, first in April and then again in May.
Activists were then shown around the eKhanana commune while Mnguni shared the history of the commune. Members of the eKhanana commune built a hall, which is named after Frantz Fanon. The movement uses the hall to eat meals together as a community, hold meetings, conduct cultural activities, poetry sessions and educate children. The community has their own electricians and plumbers who installed electricity, water and toilets. The commune also has a garden with crops including beans and maize to feed the community. The movement once had established a tuck shop but say that this was destroyed by their opponents.
Abahlali baseMjondolo shared details about how some of their members were tragically assassinated. The late Ayanda Ngila was shot and killed in March 2022. Ngila was busy in the commune garden when two men crossed the riverbank and started shooting at him. In May, Nokuthula Mabaso was assassinated by two men who shot her in front of her four children. Mabaso was the Chairperson of eKhenana Women’s League and was witness to Ayanda Ngila’s assassination.
In total, 23 members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement have been brutally killed over the past few years. The community has been living in fear since these assassinations. The movement adds that some of their members have also been wrongfully arrested on bogus charges and are being falsely accused of crimes they have not committed.
But the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement remains resolute and say they will continue doing what is right for the people and firmly believe that one day their struggle will not be in vain.