MATTHEWS NDLOVU, a South African activist fighting against privatisation, has been sentenced to two years in jail for “malicious damage to property”.
He will stay in jail unless he can find the money to pay a fine of £2,200, which is more than a year’s wages for most South Africans.
Ndlovu was singled out as a leading activist against the installation of prepaid water meters in Phiri, Soweto. The new meters will mean that access to water will be denied to those with insufficient money.
His conviction is part of a concerted campaign by the authorities, working alongside privatised utilities, to clamp down on resistance to their policies.
The “damaged property” in question consisted of a few pipes being laid by the Johannesburg Water company in preparation for the installation of the meters.
The Anti-Privatisation Forum is preparing an appeal, and is attempting to raise money to pay the fine and secure Ndlovu’s release from the notorious Sun City jail where he is being held.
All contributions towards the fine can be deposited into the Anti-Privatisation Forum’s bank account—please mark any deposits “Ndlovu case”.
The account number for the Anti-Privatisation Forum: 6202 7851 452. Their account is held at First National Bank, Block A, 3 First Place, Bank City, FNB, Johannesburg, 2000,