‘I know I’m going to die’‚ says activist outside Durban city hall

09 October 2018 - 06:00 By Lwandile Bhengu
Abahlali baseMjondolo leader, Sbu Zikode, addresses a crowd of about 2,000 members outside the Durban city hall on October 8 2018
Abahlali baseMjondolo leader, Sbu Zikode, addresses a crowd of about 2,000 members outside the Durban city hall on October 8 2018
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Abahlali baseMjondolo leader Sbu Zikode has accepted his inevitable death.

Zikode made a rare public appearance as he addressed a crowd of about 2‚000 members of the movement who had marched to the Durban city hall to deliver a memorandum of demands to the office of the presidency and the ministry of police on Monday.

“I came here today because I want to speak out before I die. I know I am going to die‚ so let me speak out so I can at least tell the nation who was behind my assassination‚” said Zikode.

As president and founder of the movement – which‚ largely‚ advocates for housing on behalf of shack dwellers and formed in 2005 - Zikode said that he and his family have been forced to go into hiding after several attempts on his life by police and political leaders within KwaZulu-Natal.

“These people who are out to get me are dangerous. They have killed more than 90 of their own people‚” said Zikode‚ alluding to the recent spate of political killings in the province‚ many of them hits by‚ and on‚ members of the ANC.

leader, Sbu Zikode, addresses a crowd of about 2,000 members outside the Durban city hall on October 8 2018
leader, Sbu Zikode, addresses a crowd of about 2,000 members outside the Durban city hall on October 8 2018
Image: THULI DLAMINI

“When I die you must look for my spirit in the building behind me‚” he said‚ pointing at the city hall.

Surrounded by three strongly-built men who looked ready to attack at any moment‚ Zikode said that his life had not been easy‚ particularly in the last three months.

“It has been extremely difficult having to fear for my life in my own country‚ in my own community. It has been a life of hell. The people who are supposed to be protecting me are the people I fear the most‚ those people are the police and political leaders.

“The ANC is a danger to the community‚” said Zikode‚ before listing a number of shack dwellers and Abahlali members who had been killed in recent years.

He also made mention of baby Jayden‚ the two-week-old infant who died during clashes between police and shack dwellers at the Foreman Road informal settlement in June 2017.

Zikode added that he was ready to return to the forefront of the fight being waged by Abahlali baseMjondolo.

“I have a special mission to better the lives of Abahlali and the marginalised‚ and I intend on carrying it out‚” he said.


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