Justice for Lindokuhle Mnguni! Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo

August 2022

We, the University of the Poor, denounce the political assassination of Lindokuhle Mnguni of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack dwellers movement) in South Africa. Mnguni, 28, was an outspoken leader of the poor and landless in the informal settlements and was the chairperson of the eKhenana Commune in Durban. 

Mnguni’s killers broke down the door of his home in the early morning hours of August 20, raining bullets that ended Mnguni’s life and sent his partner to the hospital to fight for her life. The men have been identified as part of a hit squad associated with the ruling ANC party. Witnesses confirm that they are the same men who assassinated fellow Abahlali leader Ananda Ngila in March. Mnguni and Ngila had been wrongfully imprisoned earlier this year and were victims of constant surveillance and harassment by police for their political activity in uniting the poor. 

We are leaders of organizations of the poor and dispossessed in the United States, the world’s richest country that has more than 140 million people who are poor and low-income. We demand an end to the war on the poor by criminal states, including our own, where police terrorize homeless encampments and murder our people. We demand an end to the war on the poor by the criminal ruling class, including our own, where companies are allowed to withhold food, shelter and life-saving medical care from those who can’t pay. More than 700 people die every day in the United States because of symptoms related to poverty. Like Mnguni, our people have not been called home by God because it was their time. They are victims of direct assassination or policy murder by a ruling class that values the right of billionaires to shoot themselves into space over our right to live.

We understand that eKhenana translates as Canaan, the promised land. We stand with Abahlali baseMjondolo as they fight for the abundance promised to all God’s children. We celebrate comrade Mnguni’s steadfast commitment to justice and dignity even when he knew his life was in danger. We pray for the recovery of his partner and join the international call for an immediate end to the repression and attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo and its settlements. We take strength in Abahlali’s example as they vow “No retreat, no surrender” in the face of continuing brutal and unprovoked attacks. 

In Mnguni’s name we recommit ourselves to marching toward our collective Canaan, flowing with the abundance of the earth that belongs to us all, which we can only reach through the organization of our global class of the poor and dispossessed.

Justice for Lindokuhle Mnguni!

Land, housing, dignity and freedom for all!

Stop the war on the poor!

Power to the movement of the poor and dispossessed!

University of the Poor

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