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Asked about Defend Our Democracy’s recent conference for democratic renewal and change, Abahlali baseMjondolo national secretary Thapelo Mohapi indicated that while his organisation supported the campaign, minimal solidarity has been shown with the group in response to the intimidation, even killings, of its leaders and members.

“Their silence is very loud when we are killed. When it suits them, we must now be on board. We are part of [the conference] because we want to defend our democracy. People must speak when Abahlali are killed. Democracy is under threat when people in shacks are killed, when services on the ground are not provided.” Those words must register forcefully for those of us who are part of the Defend Our Democracy campaign, perhaps even more so for those of us who have been beneficiaries of recent powerful solidarity and support. ..

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