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Durban - The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Landless People's Movement) signed an agreement on Friday that sees it publicly endorsing the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal for the upcoming general election.
Abahlali president Sbu Zikode signed the agreement with the Democratic Alliance's provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu in the Foreman Road informal settlement, in Clare Estate, Durban.
“We encourage our comrades and our membership to vote for the Democratic Alliance so that we can get rid of corruption,” said Zikode.
The provincial endorsement could translate into as many as 27 000 votes for the DA.
While the agreement was being signed, a small number of African National Congress supporters harangued those attending the ceremony.
Abahlali's concern in the province was that the ANC had not delivered in the areas the movement wanted it to.
The movement said it had opened a number of criminal cases against ANC politicians and councillors, ranging from murder and assault to intimidation, none of which had been resolved.
One of main reasons the movement was turning its back on the ruling party was its failure to deliver housing to people in the settlement.
People had been living in the Foreman Road informal settlement since 1994, but were still living in shacks 20 years later.
“Abahlali has had the no land, no house, no vote campaign for a very long time. Now we have taken a very different stance that we would have to vote against corruption and against injustices,” Zikode said.
The movement had previously called on a number of parties, including the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Economic Freedom Fighters, to meet the organisation.
The only party that was not invited was the ruling ANC. After the presentations, the organisation had decided at a grassroots level to endorse the DA.
“We must make it clear that Abahlali are not taking membership of the DA. We are not joining the DA. Rather we are giving the DA a chance to govern so that they can make a difference,” said Zikode.
Mchunu said he believed that endorsement was in fact an endorsement of the party's policy for accountable government.