Thursday, October 15, 2009

the African National Congress vs. The People

Fresh from its victory in the Constitutional Court, Abahlali baseMjondolo now reports that five more of its leaders from the Kennedy Road community in Durban have been arrested. That makes 13 Abahlali members charged with crimes. Meanwhile, no one has been arrested or charged or even implicated in the recent violence that left 2 dead in Kennedy Road.

Now, an article in The Witness suggests a political motive in the attacks and arrests: the Kennedy Road group had pushed for new regulations reining in shebeens (informal bars), which have been open 24 hours a day in Kennedy Road. The community wants these places to close by 10. At the same time, local ANC leaders are irked by the political independence of Kennedy Road and Abahlali, which is a community organizing group and thus does not endorse candidates for office.

From the article:
The community’s new liquor regulations have angered local shebeen owners who found common cause with powerful ANC branch members who resent the loss of the powerful Kennedy vote bank. This is why the government immediately arrested eight members of Abahlali baseMjondolo a day or two after the attacks. This is why, this past weekend, they arrested another three members of the movement. This is why not a single shebeen owner or militia member has been arrested.

So it's a Nazi-style 'shebeen putsch' by the African National Congress in Kennedy Road.

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