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NUMSA condemns the Metro Police in Hout Bay for shooting a young boy!

19 September 2017, Posted in Press Releases

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) condemns the Metro police in Hout Bay for shooting at 14 year old Ona Dabula during service delivery protests in the area. The boy was shot in the mouth at close range.

In a video which has gone viral, an officer can be seen shooting at Ona whilst he and another female resident cower behind a makeshift barricade to escape the police officers who are firing at protestors in Hangberg. The officer shot the boy at point blank range despite the fact that he was not posing any danger. NUMSA condemns this shocking display of police brutality and this gross violation of basic human rights!

Furthermore it is the duty of police to protect citizens when they exercise their constitutional right to protest against any level of government, as there can be no government that can justly claim authority, unless it is based on the will of the people.

Hangberg residents in Hout Bay have been protesting against the decreased allocation of fishing quotas. The protest was sparked by an announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) last week that Rock Lobster quotas would shrink even more this season. The residents were also angry over service delivery issues with the City of Cape Town. Hangberg residents face chronic housing shortages and are members of the working class poor who are suffering from the impact of high unemployment, poverty and inequality.

NUMSA is demanding that the officers involved in the incident be immediately suspended. Disciplinary action must be taken against those responsible for this senseless violent attack on an innocent child and a criminal investigation must commence. We view the decision by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to investigate this matter as a positive development.

This is not the first time that the state security apparatus has been used to crush protestors. When members of the working class and the poor embark on legitimate demonstrations to complain against worsening conditions caused by the impact of Capitalism and its failed neo-liberal economic policies, the state unleashes its fury on them. In August 2012, 34 miners were killed by police after going on strike to demand a living wage of R12500, in what is now known as the Marikana Masscre.

In 2011 Andries Tatane from Ficksburg in the Free State was killed when he was fired on at close range with rubber bullets during a service delivery protest. The landless peoples movement, Abahlali Basemjondolo and its members have been at the brunt of police brutality and violence for years, simply for occupying land which was originally stolen from the people of this country.

Capitalism’s failures are laid bare for the world to see. The system has created a South Africa where an elite, mostly white minority own the wealth, the land and the means of production, whilst the working class majority are forced to languish in poverty and continue to be exposed to deteriorating living conditions.

The Oxfam report titled “An economy for the 1%” confirms this sad state of affairs where the entire wealth of South Africa is owned by three white male billionaires. Capitalism is incapable of rescuing society from this crisis, it has proven to be a total failure and it has deepened the crisis of inequality in the world. Therefore service delivery protests will only continue and we will see even more examples of police brutality as the state acts to protect the interests of the elite white minority.

The only solution to this crisis is that the working class must organize. They are far greater in number and they have the power to replacel this brutal system with a Socialist government whose values and ideals are based on the Freedom Charter. NUMSA must speed up the work of consolidating the structures of the Workers Party on the ground so that this revolutionary movement can be at the forefront of creating the society which our predecessors in the liberation movement, fought and died for.

Aluta Continua!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Irvin Jim
NUMSA General Secretary