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Slumdwellers activists threatened and killed in South Africa

Sunday March 26, a man was shot in Bhambayi, one of Durban's suburbs. He’s now admitted to hospital struggling for life. He was shot by a local gangster who was accompanied by a district politician from the ANC that over a long period has been threatening activists in the slum dwellers movement Abahlali.

Corruption is still an ongoing problem despite negotiations and promises from the authorities to develop and rehabilitate housing for the thousands of poor people in South Africa who still live in slum settlements. Slum dwellers are increasingly vulnerable to evictions, threats and attempted murder of local politicians allied with gangsters.

The man that was injured in the shooting Sunday night is named Banel Nyamela. His prognosis is uncertain while he awaits surgery to remove the bullet.

Abahlali states in a press release that they believe the bullet was meant for Mrs. Nyuswa, a local representative for the Abhlali office in Bhambayi. She has, over a long time, received death threats because of her protests stating that the government should take responsibility for improving the bad living conditions and that there must be an end to corruption and impunity for politicians and others who enrich themselves on housing projects intended for slumdwellers.

Abahlali also states that if the government takes the negotiations on improving housing conditions seriously and want to keep their promises, they must make sure that local politicians engage Abahlali also locally in neighborhoods and not treat them as an enemy that they can threaten and kill without being held accountable. They write that if Mrs. Nyuswa is exposed to any harm, they will hold the ANC directly accountable.

 

The video below shows Blessing Nyuswa talking about her work in Abhlali with NPA.

 

 
30.03.2017 | Torunn Aaslund
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