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The Congolese Solidarity Campaign, together with Abahlali baseMjondolo and other progressive African movements, will be in Pretoria to organize a picket outside the embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, Dec. 15, 9:00 to noon. The protest aims to declare the Congolese Solidarity Campaign’s decision to refuse to acknowledge Mr. Kabila as president of DR Congo and to oppose him from extending his power unconstitutionally beyond Dec. 19, 2016, the date his second and last term in office expires.
For some time now we have been working very closely with the Congolese Solidarity Campaign. We have been working to build a politic from below that accepts each person as a person and each comrade as a comrade without regard to where they were born or what language they speak. In this struggle we have faced constant attack from the state, the ruling party and others.
Twenty years of local democracy in South Africa has been very cruel for Abahlali baseMjondolo and for millions of other poor people. It has been 20 years of hell in shacks. It has been 20 years of living like pigs in the mud. It has been 20 years of living with rats, floods, fire and rotting rubbish. For those of us who have stood up for our humanity, our reward has been lies, assault, torture, wrongful arrest, the destruction of our homes and even assassination.
We do not count to this society and this world. We can be driven from our homes, beaten, tortured and murdered with impunity. It is our responsibility to build a new politics, a politics that respects the dignity of all people, a politics that restores the land and wealth of the world to the people, a politics in which there are no people who can be freely driven from their homes and freely killed, a politics in which everyone counts.
A landmark ruling for our comrades in the Marikana Land Occupation in Cape Town issued March 20 will help us and shack dwellers all over South Africa to stop the municipalities’ relentless demolitions of poor people’s homes. These demolitions are unconstitutional, illegal and often violent. Judge Gamble’s progressive order requires that the City of Cape Town not only stop destroying people’s homes but that they must actually rebuild the homes they destroyed.
Nelson Mandela fought for justice, democracy and freedom for all. He did not say that the poor were excluded. He did not say that people from some provinces were excluded. We remain committed to the vision of justice, democracy and freedom for all. We will continue to take Mandela’s struggle forward. Mandela went to jail saying that he stood for a “revolutionary democracy in which poverty, want and insecurity shall be no more.” The struggle for a revolutionary democracy, a democracy in which every person counts, continues.
We went to court today to bring Bandile home. We had to leave without her. She was denied bail. Thembinkosi Qumbelo is dead. Nkululeko Gwala is dead. Nqobile Nzuza is dead. Nkosinathi Mngomezulu is in hospital. Luleka Makhwenkwana is in hospital. Our members have been beaten during evictions, during protests and in the police stations. Our homes have been destroyed again and again.