Prayer Service held at Court for the Kennedy 13 - Abahlali

Shack dwellers charged after the pogrom attacks on members of movement

ORDER OF SERVICE at the Durban Magistrate's Court on 18 November 2009, on the occasion of the sixth bail hearing for the "Kennedy Road 13", all shackdwellers from the shackdweller community of Abahlali baseMjondolo. The accused were arrested after pogrom attacks on members of Abahlali baseMjondolo at Kennedy Road, Durban, on 26 and 27 September, when four shackdwellers were killed while the police stood idly by. Immediately after the pogrom, local ANC political authorities commandeered AbM facilities at Kennedy Road and instituted a reign of terror, characterised by AbM as a 'coup' (see here and here).

All charges were dismissed on Monday 16 November against shackdwellers arrested last Friday at Pemary Ridge, Durban, after a police action involving extreme violence, including use of live ammunition.

Welcome: Bishop Barry Wood, OMI - Chairperson, Diakonia Council of Churches.

Call to prayer: Bishop Barry Wood

Hymn: "Who will save our land and people?"

Who will save our land and people?
Who can rescue us from wrong?
We are lost - faint, false and foolish -
We have slighted God too long.
Save the people, Lord our Saviour,
Guide us home from country far
Holy Fire, consume our rancours
The kingdom come - in Africa.

We believe God is our Saviour,
Christ enough to heal our land.
He will use the Church, his servants,
We on earth his outstretched hand.
May his Church in loving service
Shown to all whose path is rough
Give a clear united witness
And proclaim: "Christ is enough!"

Confession: Revd Sikhumbuzo Goge, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa.

Oh God of Justice, Oh God of Mercy, Oh God of Love
You have commanded us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
Yet we have loved ourselves to the point of evicting others.

All: Forgive our deceit and self-importance, we pray.

God of Fairness and Equality, God of all Creation
Your have commanded us to care for the oppressed and marginalised.
Yet we have turned our eyes away - deaf and blind to their cries and need.

All: Forgive our self-preservation and greed, we pray.

God of the poor - and the powerful, the rich - and the little people.
You have entrusted us with duty and care, with authority and stewardship.
Yet we have greedily jumped the queue for more than our fair share, believing in gods of money, prestige and impression, rather than in You.

All: Forgive our unbelief and inaction, we pray.

Oh divine Liberator - who came down amongst us to reveal to us true freedom.
Open the eyes of all those who oppress.
Open the doors of their hearts to a new understanding.
Open the ways in which we live out democracy.
And release from bondage all those imprisoned for freedom's sake.

All: Hear our cry Our God - and reveal to us your freedom.

Message from Abahlali baseMjondolo

Reading: Luke 4: 18 - 19

Message from Bishop Rubin Phillip, Diocese of Natal & Chairperson of KZNCC

Hymn: Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I was once lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come;
Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

My God has promised good to me.
God's Word my hope secures.
God will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Prayers of intercession: Revd Kevin Sprong, Methodist Church of Southern Africa

Leader: God of love and compassion:

We lift up to you all those in prison - we pray for justice and mercy.

All: Hear our prayer.

We lift up to you all those who have been entrusted with power, that they would understand your servanthood, Oh God.

All: Hear our prayer.

We pray for all those who live in informal settlements, shacks and the homeless. Bring to them
the richness of life and rights which you have ordained for all humanity, oh God.

All: Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who live in our marble mansions and elite estates. Reveal to them your sense of fairness and neighbourliness, oh God.

All: Hear our prayer.

We pray for our magistrates and police, our law enforcers and prosecutors, our lawmakers and advocates. Imbue in them your laws and love for justice and mercy, oh God.

All: Hear our prayer.

We pray for (list of names of the 13). Fill them with your Spirit that they may know your nearness and remain in communion with us and with you, oh God.

All: Hear our prayers oh God and draw near to us as we draw near to you.

Silence: 5 minutes

Reading of Statement of Solidarity: Revd Lauren Matthew

National Anthem: Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela
Thina lusapho lwayo.
Morena boloka sechaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho,
O se boloke
O se boloke Morena?
Sechaba sa heso,
Sechaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.
Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

Benediction: Bishop Barry Wood, OMI.

Signing of statement of solidarity for Kennedy Road 13.

Thank you for participating in this important day.
All clergy are invited to accompany friends and family, especially women and children, of Abahlali baseMjondolo members into Court 10.
Your accompaniment and friendship might secure their safety in the building.

Please continue to pray for justice in our land - that true democracy will prevail
and true freedom will come to all our citizens.

Issued by Abahlali baseMjondolo, November 18 2009

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