Cape Town - Land rights movement Abahlali baseMjondolo will mark Freedom Day with “un-Freedom Day” marches in Durban today, in Vukuzakhe on April 28 and in Germiston on April 29.
In a video posted on social media yesterday, deputy president Mqapheli Bonono said the movement intends to hand over a memorandum demanding an end to the strife.
“The killings of activists, the killings of land rights, the killing of leaders and of politicians themselves – we feel that no one has the right to kill. So with all that, we will be taking our demands to the president of the country and say ‘it must come to an end’,” Bonono said.
The movement, consisting of 5000 members, said they have been opposing the idea of celebrating Freedom Day since 2008 by using the inverse un-Freedom Day as a direct result of the poorest of the poor being “neglected by the government”.
Speaking to the Cape Argus, Bonono said: “We cannot fool ourselves anymore while we are still living in poverty. We as the movement have decided to embark on a march (today), to engage with the government and the world.
“To embark on a so-called Freedom Day in this country, we cannot as shack dwellers fool ourselves to say we are free while we are still being oppressed and all our rights we are supposed to be having, such as access, being denied.”
In a press release, the group said: “We are not free because we are assassinated and murdered by the izinkabi and the police. Impoverished people are not free.
“This democracy was not won by the politicians and it does not belong to them. It was won by the struggles of the people … organisations with members who were poor and working-class people like us.
“The councillor system has not only become a system of top down political control. Many councillors see their position as nothing but an opportunity to grow rich from public funds, from the wealth of the people.
“Some councillors are a danger to our democracy and our communities. In some wards people are terrorised by the councillors and their committees.”
The organisation is supported by Ndifuna Ukwazi, Reclaim the City and Amadiba Crisis Committee.