‘Free Kennedy Road 13’

2009-11-21 00:00

ANGLICAN bishop and KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council chairperson Ruben Phillip has thrown his support behind a campaign for the release of the Kennedy Road 13 and has spoken out against the council’s restricted access to the group by the station commissioner of the Sydenham police station in Durban.

Phillip is worried the case against the 13 is being dragged out so they will be held in prison for longer.

The 13 residents are members of the homeless movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo. They are charged with the murder of two men in the informal settlement in Sydenham.

In a statement, the council said station commissioner Glen Nayager restricted pastoral access to the group after he felt that the council took too long to pray with the group.

The group was removed from Westville Prison to Sydenham police station after their bail application was postponed on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the council met with Nayager to ask for visitation times for family and clergy.

Nayager said: “When pastors come and pray with my police, they are done in two minutes. How much longer does one need to pray?”

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali chairman, said, “I am not surprised by the response from Nayager. He has never viewed us as human beings and continues to be satisfied in ensuring that we live in sub-human conditions. Like others, he is happy for us to remain in squalor and filth and be satisfied with the least possible.”

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