Amnesty blasts SA government

2009-12-19 00:00

ANGLICAN Bishop Rubin Phillip has backed Amnesty International’s claims that South Africa has failed to investigate the human rights abuses at the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban.

Phillip has worked closely with the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement, who fight for the rights of shack dwellers.

In a statement, Amnesty International criticised the government’s failure to investigate murders, violence and other atrocities the community has faced in the past year.

Amnesty International said besides the lack of a proper investigation, the activities of Abahlali baseMjondolo (Abahlali) and the affiliated Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) have been disrupted by the violence and the lives of leaders and supporters placed at risk.

Thabani Ndlovu and Thokozani Mnguni were stabbed to death during a youth camp at the settlement. Other people were injured when about 40 men carrying assegais, knobkierries and guns stormed into the premises on September 26.

Eight people were subsequently arrested and have pending court cases. Six residents are still being held by police even though no charges have been laid.

Phillip and the movement made headlines recently when they questioned the short visiting hours given to them to pray for Abahlali baseMjondolo members in police custody.

Amnesty International said that despite calls since October for an independent and impartial commission of inquiry into the circumstances and extent of the violence and its aftermath, nothing has been done.

Phillip agreed with Amnesty International and said there is an urgent need for an independent investigation into the violence.

“The community continues to be divided, with residents feeling lost because their leadership has been chased away,” he said.

He said church leaders also asked the government for an independent investigation, but this was never addressed.

“It’s important that the truth be established. Abahlali baseMjondolo feel they are being rubbished,” Phillip added.

He said the denial of access to Abahlali baseMjondolo members at Sydenham police station is an example of the abuse Amnesty International are concerned about.

“We can’t even pray for them; this is abuse. These people have suffered enough,” he said.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said it is wrong of Amnesty International to suggest the government is not helping the residents.

He said residents have been engaged about housing issues and have been offered alternatives by local government.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.