by the University of the Poor Proletarian Internationalism Taskforce
Greetings of solidarity and grief to our siblings at Abahlali baseMjondolo and to the family and community of Ayanda Ngila, on behalf of the University of the Poor.
We celebrate the life, struggle and example of brother Ayanda, the brilliant and committed 29-year-old deputy chairperson of Abahlali’s eKhenana Commune in Durban, South Africa.
We condemn his murder this afternoon, March 8, 2022, by four gunmen associated with the African National Congress (ANC), who have continually harassed, jailed and assassinated leaders of the organized poor in South Africa who challenge them. And we stand with Abahlali baseMjondolo as they continue to organize and fight.
As leaders of organizations led by the poor and dispossessed in the United States, the world’s richest country with more than 140 million people who are poor and low-income, we express our deepest solidarity with South Africa’s shackdwellers, from whose analysis and organizing practice we have learned for over a decade. Now, at the beginning of a massive eviction crisis in the United States, where homeless encampments already exist in all large and mid-size cities, we recognize that the poor and dispossessed of the world have a common future and a common struggle ahead.
We denounce the violence of the criminal ANC and the criminal ruling class the world over against the poor: from the assassination of our leaders in broad daylight to the murderous violence of withholding food, shelter or healthcare in a world of abundance. We demand justice for Ayanda Ngila and an end to the violence against Abahlali baseMjondolo.
We have a song we sing in our movement that says:
Somebody’s hurting our brother and it’s gone on far too long, and we won’t be silent anymore.
Somebody’s hurting our sister and it’s gone on far too long, and we won’t be silent anymore.
Justice for Ayanda Ngila!
Land, housing, dignity and freedom for all!
Stop the war on the poor!
Power to the movement of the poor and dispossessed!
Tuesday, 8 March 2022
Abahlali baseMjondolo press state
Ayanda Ngila has been murdered at eKhenana
Ayanda Ngila, a leader in the eKhenana Commune, a brave, brilliant and committed young man, a visionary leader, a shining inspiration, was murdered at eKhenana just before 3 this afternoon. Four men entered the commune from the river side, where the communal garden is, and started shooting at Ayanda as he was working on the irrigation pipping.
The attack was led Khaya Ngubane, brother to Ntokozo Ngubane and son to NS Ngubane. This is the ANC group that has constantly borne false witness against our members, directed the police who to arrest and not to arrest, moved in and out of the office of the Chief Magistrate when our comrades appear in court, burnt homes, vandalised the infrastructure on the Commune and acted with total impunity against our members.
The Commune has come under relentlessly violent attack from the ANC, the police and the anti-land invasion unit. Its leaders have regularly been arrested on bogus charges, denied bail and detained in prison. Ayanda recently did six months in prison, was released when the charges were dropped and then sent back to prison on more bogus charges.
On Sunday he, and others, were welcomed back to the Commune from the second period in prison in a beautiful celebration of solidarity. That night the ANC attacked people with axes. Now Ayanda is dead. Another principled and committed activist has been murdered by the ANC. Another young life has been squandered by our oppressors, another family left in pain.
Ayanda is a martyr in the struggle for land, dignity, freedom and socialism. His name will be celebrated around the world. We will ensure that his life is honoured, and that his spirt lives on in our movement.
We express our deepest condolences to his family, the residents of the Commune and all who enjoyed his warm heart.
The ANC in Durban are violent criminals. We have found ourselves in a war. This is the time for solidarity and a collective refusal to bow to oppression.
No retreat, no surrender.