Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku

Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku was the Chairperson of the local Sisonke Village branch of Abahlali baseMjondolo and a member of Abahlali’s KwaZulu/Natal Provincial Council.

On 2 December 2017, Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku was buried. The human rights defender was killed at around 11:00 pm on 19 November 2017, when he was forcibly taken from his shack and stabbed to death by unknown assailants in the informal settlement of Sisonke Village in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The killing is believed to be a reprisal for his work defending human rights. The Sisonke Village branch of Abahlali baseMjondolo was created in November 2014, as a result of which, Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku received ongoing threats and harassment from individuals linked to local politicians.

Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku worked to defend the right of shack dwellers to basic services and political participation in Sisonke Village. Abahlali baseMjondolo is a grassroots movement of poor shack dwellers in Durban, Pinetown, Pietermaritzburg and other parts of the province and of the Western Cape.

The movement advocates for the rights of people living in shacks including access to decent housing, services and education. Its members have been the targets of ongoing intimidation and physical attacks due to corruption at the local political level.  Since 2007, seven members of Abahlali baseMjondolo have been killed, including Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku.

 


If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at: HRDMemorial@frontlinedefenders.org

Region:Africa

Country:South Africa

Department/Province/State:KwaZulu-Natal

Nickname:no information

Sex1:Male

Age:32

Date of Killing:19/11/2017

Type of Killing:Stabbing

Previous Threats:Yes

Status of Investigation:No investigation

Type of Work:Social leader

Organisation:ESCR-Net member Abahlali baseMjondolo

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Housing Rights, Land Rights

More information:Frontline Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).

Sibonelo Patrick Mpeku

On Sunday, 19 November 2017, at approximately 11:00pm, Mr. Mpeku was seized by unknown men while he was sleeping in his home (shack) in the informal settlement of Sisonke Village, Lamontville, municipality of eThekwini, province of KwaZulu-Natal and subsequently dragged outside his shack and killed.

His body was discovered, covered with stab wounds and blood, by neighbours one hour later. It was subsequently witnessed by leaders of Abahlali, as it was left for more than 15 hours before it was removed from the crime scene by police.

Since the launch of the Sisonke Village branch in November 2014, Mr. Mpeku had faced ongoing intimidation and death threats (including via text messages and phone calls warning that he would be punished for engaging in human rights work with his community) from individuals linked to local officials of the governing political party.

These threats were reported, in writing, to the area councillor, the ward committee, the Lamontville Police Station and offices of the governing political party, but no response as received. To date, no arrests have taken place with respect to Mr. Mpeku’s murder.


If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at: HRDMemorial@frontlinedefenders.org

Region:Africa

Country:South Africa

Department/Province/State:KwaZulu-Natal

Nickname:no information

Sex1:Male

Age:32

Date of Killing:19/11/2017

Type of Killing:Stabbing

Previous Threats:Yes

Status of Investigation:Investigation – no result

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Abahlali Community

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Freedom of Association

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).

For further information contact

contact@hrdmemorial.org