Early Morning Market Traders walkout of City Hall meeting

12 August 2009

Dear Comrades

Today (Wed 12 August 2009) was a glorious day in Durban.

But first… we must acknowledge our revolutionary comrades in the EMM Support Group for challenging racist rhetoric and informing the world, in the face of official denials. This has helped sensitise City Hall to the dangers of lapsing into racial rhetoric.

We also salute the market for being a living monument to non-racial solidarity within and outside its historic walls, in what is now a protracted struggle.

Today’s ‘meeting’ at City Hall was an improvement on the ICC farce (though undemocratic habits are hard to break!) Professional translators did a splendid job, and the official speeches were conciliatory and, informative – the kind of speeches (and attitude) one expects from public servants.

However speeches must be measured against intent and deed, and this is where the municipality came short, triggering a mass walk-out.

  • There was a disjuncture between the conciliatory speeches and the legally crafted, and binding MOU (memorandum of understanding), the details of which had not been discussed and agreed to by the public meeting;
  • The signing of the MOU by several trader-collaborators who had broken ranks with their small structures;
  • Absence of Q&A – There was no provision for any comment by the hundreds who had attended the meeting. Hence, the walk-out.

The Early Morning Market (EMM) community sent a resounding message to the city officials that it would not collaborate in its own destruction; a simple message repeated so often throughout decades of the freedom struggle in this country. The municipality’s selection and use of collaborators from outside the market, to push through the theft of historic market land, was dealt a shattering blow. Honest informal traders and workers of Durban, once again, demonstrated their unshakeable resolve to fight on for the right not to be robbed of their livelihood.

Other news:

  • Adv. RBG Choudree, SC and Adv M Manickum have been engaged to join Adv NR Naidoo K Khallil (attorney) in the EMM Traders Association case
  • The review application of the Legal Resources Centre will also be heard by the same judge (as part of the EMM v eThekwini Municipality case)
  • The court papers will be lodged on Friday 14th August 2009.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre !
Onwards to final victory !

Roy Chetty
Telephone :031-5631722
0823348461