The politicians have shown that they are not the answer to our suffering. The poor are just made the ladders of the politicians. The politician is an animal that hibernates. They always come out in the election season to make empty promises and then they disappear. But we know that lies are for the time being but truth is for life. These guys get into power by lying to us and then they make money. They don’t work for the people who put them up there. In fact our suffering ends up working for them. Their power comes because they say that they will speak for us. That is why in Abahlali we started to say ‘Speak to us and not for us’ and why we vote in our own elections for people who will live and work with us in our communities and without any hopes for making our suffering into a nice job.
We know that our country is rich. We know that it is the suffering of the poor that makes it rich. We know how we suffer and we know why we suffer. But in Abahlali we have found that even though we are a democratic organisation that gets its power from the trust of our members and have never hurt one person the government and even some NGOs call us criminal when we speak for ourselves. We are supposed to suffer silently so that some rich people can get rich from our work and others can get rich having conferences about having more conferences about our suffering. But the police never come to these conferences. These conferences are just empty talking. When we have big meetings where we live the police are even in the sky in their helicopters. These conferences demand our support but they never support our struggles. We are always on our own when the fires come or when the police come or when the City comes to evict us.
I want to say clearly that I am a Professor of my suffering. We are all Professors of our suffering. But in this South Africa the poor must always be invisible. We must be invisible where we live and where we work. We must even be invisible when people are getting paid to talk about us in government or in NGOs! Everything is done in our name. We are even told that the 2010 World Cup is for us when we can’t afford tickets and will even be lucky to watch it on television. The money for stadiums should go for houses and water and electricity and schools and clinics. Even now shacks are being destroyed and street traders are being sorely abused by the METRO and SAPS police to make us invisible when the visitors come. This World Cup is destroying our lives. I call 2010 ‘The year of the curse’. South Africa is sinking. It will only be rescued if the poor take their place in the country.
4 thoughts on “M’du Hlongwa”
I could weep for mankind. There is no hope. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: Humans are nuts.
Although this Hlongwa is rather inspiring – as are the two bloggers who brought him to my attention.
I don’t know, I am depressed today and the Hlongwa news looks more lively than the news here.
check out the website of hlongwa’s organisation – http://www.abahlali.org
It’s already linked, but perhaps too subtly! Thanks – Z