The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) condemns the killing of Abahlali baseMjondolo activist and eKhanana Commune revolutionary and Dweller, Ayanda Ngila.

It is reported that four men entered eKhanana Commune and shot Ayanda whilst he was working in the communal garden, killing him in cold-blood.

eKhanana Commune was established due to landlessness in Cato Manor, where as a result, black working class people have been subject of unemployment and evictions. Abahlali baseMjondolo report that since the establishment of eKhanana Commune, it “has come under relentlessly violent attack from the ANC, the police and the anti-land invasion unit.”

Indeed, its leaders have been subjected to regular arrests in the past. In all instances known to us, most of these arrests have ended in withdrawal of charges. This fact gives credence to what is now becoming clearer: that these arrests are underpinned by ulterior motives, hence unprosecutable trumped-up charges.

It is also shocking to learn that before the cold-blood killing of Ayanda, the commune was attacked upon his arrival from prison (from which he spent six months and was denied bail on bogus charges which were eventually withdrawn), by ANC people with axes. Abahlali baseMjondolo have reported that such an attack was but one of many attacks which include burning homes, vandalisation of their infrastructure in the commune and senseless violence and harassment of the commune dwellers.

We condemn the relentless harassment of eKhanana Commune by ANC in eThekwini with the contempt it deserves. If it has squandered its political capital amongst our people through years of corruption and mismanagement, it should not attempt to reclaim communities through intimidation and violence. It is also unacceptable that these acts of harassment are not only perpetuated by these thugs, but even by law enforcement agencies, as per reports.

SAFTU stands in solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo and the eKhanana Commune Dwellers. In support of these revolutionary and courageous dwellers of the commune, SAFTU demands:

• Immediate arrest of the killers of Ayanda Ngila, and speedy trial and conviction that include all other offences they may have committed against the commune since its inception in 2018, • The ruling party, ANC, to investigate its members involved in the constant harassment of the commune, and hand them to law enforcement agencies.

• The ANC structures involved in planning the harassment of and attacks on the Commune to cease their devious activities.

• The National Directorate for Public Prosecutions at National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to immediately investigate any collusion between the accused, police and the NPA in Kwa Zulu Natal

• End the police harassment of the commune In a condition where we are condemned to unemployment, poverty and landlessness by the neocolonial and neoliberal capitalist regime, the initiatives of the revolutionaries at eKhanana Commune to build a community that is self-sustainable in food production and preaches care and solidarity for one another, is commendable. Such courageous acts of revolutionary reorganisation of society must be defended.

SAFTU mourns the death of Ayanda Ngila and extend our condolences to his family, the eKhanana Commune Dwellers, Abahlali baseMjondolo and all working class revolutionaries who have certainly lost a fellow combatant in the class struggle. Your injury, is our injury, comrades.

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