A report by a human rights monitor on the repression of the eKhenana Commune - affiliated to Abahlali baseMjondolo - in Cato Manor, Durban.
Over the past eight (8) months a total of eleven (11) residents in the settlement, all members of Abahlali baseMjondolo, have been arrested on various charges.
The first three were arrested for murder, refused bail, and held in Durban’s Westville Prison for a full six months until their case was thrown out. Another three were arrested for conspiracy to commit murder, two of whom were held for over two weeks without bail and the third for six months without bail. Just over two weeks ago three more AbM members and residents of the settlement, all women, were arrested and charged with assault against the same witness in the above cases. They were denied bail for over two weeks and were finally released yesterday, the 21 of October. On the 22nd, police were back in eKhenana looking for more members of the movement to arrest. On Saturday the 23rd of October a mob of people entered the settlement and assaulted four AbM women. While this was happening, police returned yet again and arrested another 2 members of the movement. Then on the evening of Tuesday 26 October, the homes of the most recent two arrested members were burned down in a clear case of arson.