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South Africa: Independent Report into Political Violence Against Landless People's Movement

As the Landless People's Movement in Gauteng we welcome the independent research report by Jared Sacks into political violence against our movement in Gauteng. We have been suffering from serious repression in Protea South, in Harry Gwala and in eTwatwa. The story of our struggle and the repression of our struggle has not been told. The world may have been watching South Africa for the World Cup but the repression of our movement has passed unnoticed. Therefore we welcome this report and the light that it shines into the darkness of our country.

The repression of our movement has been ignored by the media. We are asking the media to take this report seriously. We challenge the media to read this report and to follow it up with their own investigations. We need to expose what happens to the poor in this country and what happens to the poor when they challenge the councillors.

As a society we are not dealing with the issues that affect the poor. The councillors do nothing for the poor.

Billions of rands have been spent on stadiums and other costs for this World Cup yet we remain in shacks and without electricity. They said 'Feel it, it is here' but we have not felt anything other than the pain of poverty worsened with the pain of repression. The money that should have been spent on upgrading our communities has been wasted. The tournament will be over on Sunday and we will still be poor.

It is clear that in this country development is something that is imposed on the poor from above. Very often what is called development is actually forced removal. If you don't agree to be forcibly removed you are treated as an enemy to the government of the country.

When the social movements take up the issues of the poor repression comes from the government with the police. They are trying to intimidate all the comrades of the social movements. They want to show the social movements that they must not challenge the councillors. It is the same in eTwatwa as it is in Harry Gwala and in Protea South. It is the same in Kennedy Road and in Pemary Ridge in Durban. They want to stop us from raising our voices.

We have no choice but to keep struggling. We will not be intimidated by the councillors and their police. We will, together with all our comrades in the Poor People's Alliance, continue our struggle for land and for freedom.

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