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Last week three people were killed and scores of others injured or left homeless in attacks on members of a poor squatters movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, outside the country’s third-largest city, Durban. The attackers shouted: “‘The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu.” AmaMpondo is a veiled reference to identify the squatter movement as Xhosas. Not as Zulus. Abahlali, however, has both Xhosa and Zulu members and supporters. But as more information emerge this “ethnic” violence has less to do with ethnicity and more to do with politics. In fact, some of the squatters and their supporters claim the attackers did so with the full knowledge of the police and the municipality, the latter which is run by the ruling ANC and which is intent on clearing the city of slums before the 2010 World Cup.

For more context here is an interview with some of the squatter leaders with Democracy Now! done a few weeks ago:

Further Reading

Where the social is political

On 9 May 2017, residents of six neighborhoods across South Africa’s richest province, Gauteng, protested about lack of basic services, housing and employment. A local TV news crew captured the frustrations of a resident from Ennerdale, one of the affected neighborhoods: “When …

Hack, make, sell

How to change the erroneous perception of Africa as technology backwater. Go look, for example, at what the “Maker Movement” is doing in Ghana and Nigeria.

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.