From the July-August 2017 issue of News & Letters
Durban, South Africa—On May 29, the Foreman Road community in Clare Estate, Durban, came under serious police assault after a road blockade organized earlier that morning. That protest had been disruptive, but it was peaceful. Baby Jayden Khoza, two weeks old, lost his life during the brutal police assault on the community.
Baby Jayden did not die during a protest. He was killed during a police assault on the Foreman Road community following a protest.
On May 30 more than a thousand people gathered in an open assembly in the Foreman Road settlement. A decision to honor Jayden Khoza with a memorial service on June 1 was taken. Once again we have to honor the dignity of our dead, a dignity that we are denied in life by this society and this government.
POOR KILLED LIKE ANIMALS
In South Africa impoverished Black people are treated like dirt. We can be killed like animals. It is taken as normal that we should live in mud, raise our children in constant fires, be driven out of our homes and cities with bulldozers and rubber bullets, tortured, slandered, and murdered when we gather and insist on the recognition of our human dignity.
Everyday the richness of the possibilities for our lives comes under assault from an oppressive society. It is not just the police who beat us. It is a system of oppression. Racism, capitalism and the gangster state combine to make a world where some of us live with tear gas, fire, prisons, the destruction of our homes, torture and murder; while those who say that they represent us, and who demand that we accept our own oppression, are buying homes in Dubai.
Jayden’s parents are traumatized. We are glad, though, that the Foreman Road community has shown support at this difficult time for the Khoza family. Our strength can only come from our togetherness. Our lives and our future depend on that.
JUSTICE FOR JAYDEN KHOZA!
The movement is working together with our legal team to ensure that justice is done. We will ensure that the post-mortem will be conducted by an independent doctor who will leave no stone unturned. We will sue the police. The police Minister will be made to answer.
We feel the pain that this family is feeling. Any of us could find ourselves in the same position. Every night we go to sleep knowing that that night, or the next day, could bring a fire, the land invasions unit, an assassin, armed party thugs, or the police.
Most importantly we will continue to organize for land, housing and dignity. We will continue to fight for, protect and advance the interests of the impoverished and marginalized.
As long as we continue to be denied land we will occupy land. As long as the politicians continue to refuse to engage us on a democratic basis, we will blockade roads in protest.
Jayden Khoza. Say his name. Jayden Khoza.