Date: Friday 15 July 2016
- Gauteng will picket outside the National SAPS Headquarters, Wachthuis Building, 231 Pretorius Street, Pretoria.
- Western Cape will picket outside Bellville Police Station, 72 Voortrekker Road, Bellville.
- KZN will picket outside Umlazi Police Station, V 1295 Prince Mcwayizeni Road, Umlazi.
R2K chooses Friday 15 July as a moment to call on South Africans to recognise the crisis of political violence in Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, Durban. Over the past two years, it has been estimated 64 people have been murdered, 13 tortured by police and hundreds illegally evicted at Glebelands Hostel. Since 2009, members of the community have used every channel to voice concerns over service delivery and corruption, and persistently called for the removal of Ward 76 Councilor Robert Mzobe and the proper re-election of their Branch Executive Committee. They were ignored. After protests in 2013, provincial political leaders warned frustrated community members that they would be “dealt with.”
On 13 March 2014, the killing started, followed by waves of evictions as poor women and children were forced out from their rooms, reportedly by armed thugs. Thousands lost their homes and possessions, and the community has been left traumatised and destitute.
Despite nearly double the number of people killed at Marikana there have been no convictions and not one police officer has been arrested for torture.
Only now, with local government elections around the corner, has the government started peace initiatives. It remains to be seen whether those responsible will be brought to book, if the community will be properly compensated for their losses and if the root causes of the violence will be addressed – or if the 2016 ‘peace’ will be as empty as previous promises.
We are also very concerned that this latest peace initiative appears to be driven by a high-level state security expert, aligned with the powerful pro-Zuma faction of the ANC currently controlling KZN. Such a blatantly biased intervention lacks political independence and credibility and is likely to serve only to further party / economic interests and advance the prevailing climate of fear at the expense of meaningful, lasting conflict resolution, justice and stability at Glebelands.
South Africans must be vigilant. What has been allowed to happen at Glebelands brings into sharp focus the intensifying assault on our democratic freedom; poor communities’ growing struggle to access their rights; and the failing powers of accountability institutions. Most of all, the Glebelands crisis has highlighted the increasingly deadly battle for political power and control of the public purse at the expense of human life and service delivery. The justice system has failed the community of Glebelands, giving legitimacy to the notion that Black lives don’t matter. As R2K we refuse to remain silent while police brutality against innocent civilians continues unchallenged. Black lives do matter and it’s time to convict the perpetrators.
There can be no lasting peace without justice at Glebelands. All responsible MUST ANSWER for their role in the violence.
All South Africans must stand in solidarity with the victims of Glebelands and demand justice for those who have been killed and tortured!
GLEBELANDS – LIKE MARIKANA – MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN! BLACK LIVES DO MATTER!
In support of Glebelands we make the following demands:
- Public Protector’s investigation must be concluded and released! And the investigation MUST include a forensic audit of ALL Glebe-related tenders and contracts
- Those implicated in torture and murder and other abuses must be suspended, investigated and charged accordingly, and victims must get reparations
- The people must be free to nominate and vote for a candidate of their choice. Mzobe must go!
- Freedom of movement & association for the people of Glebe!
- End the reign of political terror at Glebe!
- End political assassinations at Glebe!
Note: To donate to the independent organising work of Glebelands residents and allies, visit www.r2k.org.za/glebelands