Back from the dead

Right. I’m back, sort of. The next few weeks are going to be a little bonkers (see the Events schedule, for an indication). I’ll also be writing up some of my experiences from recent visits to Malawi and South Africa.

In fact, let’s start with news from Durban, South Africa, where I met with some of the leaders of the Abahlali baseMjondolo shackdwellers movement, in a safe-house. As Amnesty International have noted in a recent public document, although the machette attacks have stopped, the violence hasn’t. Shackdwellers continue to live in fear, to be denied due process, and to be subject to intimidation.

You’d think that this might lead to rancour among the shackdweller leadership driven from their homes. My more vengeful side was exercised by the ANC’s ongoing abuses. The women and men of Abahlali baseMjondolo are, however, far more politically mature to want an eye for an eye, but they’re not turning the other cheek either. I’m not sure if there’s an appropriate Biblical metaphor for their behaviour, but whatever it is, it has been recognised by the church. In exile, S’bu Zikode, one of the movement leaders was recently awarded the Order of the Holy Nativity by Bishop Rubin Phillip in South Africa earlier this month…