[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Protests: Woodstock, Siyanda, Macassar Village, Doornbach, DuNoon, Egoli(E.London), Soweto, Unisa
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed May 20 04:46:26 BST 2009
Woodstock Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
Tuesday, 19th May 2009
About 10 residents of Gympie Street were illegally evicted earlier today
by the sheriff of the court even though residents won their most recent
court case against slumlord Pastor Roberston.
This was a surprise eviction with no advanced notice. The sheriff of the
court was unable to provide a valid eviction order and residents were
only given an 'attachment order' of and outdated eviction notice. When
residents asked why they were being evicted, the sheriff told them that
it was because they allegedly failed to appear in court on the 29th of
April (which is untrue, see this press release).
About 7 people are currently camped out on Maind Road, Woodstock, on the
corner of Gympie Street. While their children have been taken in by
their neighbours, they have nowhere else to go and so will stay on the
pavement protecting their funiture until their lawyer overturns the
illegal eviction. Private security thugs are currently in the homes and
have bricked up the door to prevent entry.
Tomorrow, Advocate Zehir Omar will bring an urgent high court
application as the landlord is acting stealthily and unlawfully in
evicting the Heyn and Petersen families.
For more information, please contact Willy at 073 144 3619, Margarete at
072 642 7386, and Mr Omar (lawyer) at 082 492 5207
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
The Elections Are Over – The War on the Poor Continues
Four Shot in Siyanda with Rubber Bullets, Illegal Demolitions in Mpola,
Professor Martin Legassick Arrested in Macassar Village, Mzonke Poni on
the Run, Others Arrested and Shot at with Rubber Bullets
Siyanda: More Illegal Evictions, Rumours of More Forced Removals and
More Police Violence
Four people were shot with rubber bullets at close range after the
police attacked protestors in C – Section of Siyanda, Durban, this
morning. The four people are all in hospital. The doctors say that one
person is very badly injured.
The protest was aimed at halting construction of houses in the
notoriously corrupt Khalula Housing Project. The C-Section community
took the decision to halt the construction in protest against the
ongoing unlawful demolition of people’s homes and rumours that people
from C-Section will be forcibly removed to amatins (also known as
government shacks or transit camps) in Red Hill.
All requests by the community for clear information and negotiation have
been refused. After lots of pressure municipal official Bongi Hlengwa
eventually agreed to meet the community to discuss their concerns about
unlawful demolitions and the rumours of more forced removals at 3:00
p.m. yesterday afternoon. However he cancelled the meeting without
explanation following which the decision to stop construction was taken.
More information on the crisis in Siyanda contact Mama Kayiyaki 074 299
2898, Magama Makhanyi 074 756 6348 or Mama Nxumalo 076 579 6198
Mpola: Illegal Evictions
Four shacks were illegally demolished in Mpola, Marianhill (near
Pinetown), this morning. The Municipality is knocking down shacks to
build houses – but the houses are being given to outsiders. There is no
consultation. There is no court order for these demolitions and they
are, therefore, like the demolitions in Siyanda, illegal and criminal acts.
More information on the crisis in Mpola contact Lindiwe Ndlovu 078 994 0700
Macassar Village: Demolitions, Arrests and Shootings
Backyward dwellers occupied vacant government land in Macassar Village
last night after being forced out of their backyard shacks due to
extremely high and exploitative rents. Early this morning the police
arrived in very large numbers to attack the occupation. While a meeting
was being held to inform the new community that any police attack on it
would be completely illegal the police went ahead and attacked the people.
One lady and her baby have been shot with rubber bullets. Three people
have been arrested. So far we only have the name of one them - Professor
Martin Legassick was arrested while taking pictures. The police are
currently doing a door to door search in the area looking for Mzonke Poni.
More information on the crisis in Macassar Village contact Mzonke Poni
073 256 2036.
Update: Professor Martin Legassick is currently being released. No word
yet on the two other people who were arrested
Now that the election is over and the politicians have finished hunting
for positions they are running away from the people. It is impossible
for a poor community to get a meeting with a politician. They only send
in the police to break the people's homes and to beat and shoot and
arrest the people. This is the reality of our so called democracy. This
is what development really looks like – people’s houses broken down,
people shot with rubber bullets, people in jail, people on the run.
19/05/2009 14:48 - (SA)
Cape Town protest turns violent
By Peter Luhanga
Residents of Doornbach informal settlement in Cape Town took to the
streets in a violent protest against their living conditions.
The 1000-strong crowd dug up a portion of a busy road, burned tyres and
barricaded the road with wood and cement slabs on Sunday night.
Police fired rubber bullets at the when they refused to disperse but no
arrests were made.
A Golden Arrow bus which tried to drive through the barricades on
Potsdam Road was stoned.
Protestors, some wearing winter coats and others covered in blankets,
sang songs slamming Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. They accusing her
of poor service delivery.
They demanded that new Cape Town mayor Dan Plato hold a meeting with
them to address their concerns.
Residents said their protest was sparked by a fire in the settlement on
May 10 which left about 80 people homeless and heavy rains over the
weekend which flooded their shacks.
“A few days ago it was fire. Now it’s floods. We need our own land where
we can live decently,” said community leader Albert Mazula.
Mazula said shacks in the settlement, situated along Potsdam Road
adjacent to Du Noon township and home to about 5 000 people, had been
flooded as a result of heavy rains on the weekend.
“That’s why we decided to barricade the road to draw attention from the
authorities to come and see the conditions we are leaving in,” he said.
Artwell Russon, 36, a father of three young children, said he was “sick
and tired” of staying in a shack.
“It’s winter and our children will get sick here,” he said.
Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said the demonstrators had
stoned police and passing cars on Sunday night. “Rubber bullets were
fired after people were asked to disperse and they refused,” he said.
– West Cape News
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
More barricades on way - protesters
Residents of Site 5 in Du Noon have vowed to continue burning tyres on
Koeberg Road and the N7 freeway if the provincial government ignores
their demands for land and services.
This morning the area was quiet, according to community representatives
after residents had burned piles of wood on Koeberg Road last night.
At around 11am, resident Zoliswa Gila said she and others had gathered
at the Doorndag Community Hall, waiting for feedback from councillor
Vincent Berg, who is the Blaauwberg area subcouncil chairperson.
Meanwhile community leader Peace Stemela said there were no protests
Residents are demanding that a piece of privately owned land near the
N7, which is set to be sold to a private company, instead be sold to the
provincial government so housing can be built on it for them.
Cape Town Traffic Services media spokesperson Merle Lourens said this
morning that Potsdam Road, which runs through the informal settlement,
was opened to traffic at around 11.30am.
After the weekend's torrential rain, residents also complained on Sunday
that their shacks were flooded.
"It is better to be out in the streets protesting because our houses are
full of water now and we want to move from this place," said Gila on Sunday.
Another resident, who declined to give his name, said mayor Dan Plato
should see the way they lived. "We want him to come here; we have had
enough of this place. We want land where we can get water and
electricity," he said.
Albert Mazula, also of Site 5, said that shacks were built too close to
each other, which had made it difficult to move belongings when a fire
broke out recently, razing at least 30 homes.
A fourth resident, Mzonke Madlokazi, warned that residents would close
Koeberg Road and the N7 for the whole week if they were ignored by the
"Houses were promised to us a long time ago and they said we must vote
if we want to complain. We voted, so now we are complaining," he said.
Residents alleged that shots were fired to disperse protesters picketing
outside community leaders' houses yesterday.
Table View police this morning confirmed yesterday's protests, but
declined to comment further, saying only that a statement would be
released later today.
- Cape Argus
Protesting residents ‘chase way shack builders’
RESIDENTS of Egoli, who said they had chased away a group of Duncan
Village residents who had invaded council-owned land to build shacks,
launched a protest yesterday.
The protesting residents said Buffalo City Municipality had promised to
give the land to Ward 11 residents for a low-cost housing project, meant
for people on the waiting list for homes.
The residents said they had chased away the group at the weekend, and
demanded that the ward councillor address their community. The ward
councillor failed to arrive yesterday. Resident Sherene Canham said she
had been waiting for her house for 20 years but had given up hope of
ever getting it. Canham said that before the elections Egoli residents
had been promised houses.
“They (politicians) were going door-to-door, canvassing for our votes.
Now they do not want to even listen to us,” she added . Another
resident, David Astrich , said residents were complaining mainly about
service delivery and “useless” BCM officials. “If the land had been used
for what it was meant for, no people would have thought of establishing
a squatter camp here. We do not want any shacks here,” said Astrich. He
said the residents were demanding that their grievances be dealt with by
BCM officials, including Mayor Zukisa Faku.
Words on placards carried by the residents read, “We do not want shacks
near Egoli” and “We want houses with immediate effect”, while others
displayed the words “Make our community safe”.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the city was involved in an
extensive consultation process with communities, which had the
opportunity to meet officials and discuss issues with them. “The ward in
question was also accommodated to this effect but they did not use the
platform to raise their concerns,” said Ngwenya. However, he said BCM
officials would engage with the Egoli community in order to address
their complaints. By XOLISA MGWATYU
Soweto college disgrace - still no results for last year
19 May 2009
FED-UP: Students at South West Gauteng College in Soweto protest against
the poor quality of education at the institution. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE
# Soweto college pyramid scam
Students at the South West Gauteng College in Dube, Soweto, caused havoc
when they blockaded the school entrance because they have not as yet
received their results for last year.
Student representative Bongiwe Khumalo yesterday said: “We are in limbo.
We do not know whether we have advanced to the next level or not.”
She also said conditions at the college were disastrous because of
mismanagement. “Six students share one computer ... and there are no
resources.” She said the college had also promised them bursaries but
the promise never materialised. Khumalo vowed the strike would continue
until their demands were met.
Information communication technology student Phulusi Ndengane also
lambasted the institution and said it was like a day-care centre. “We
come here to sit, then go home. If they cannot manage this college they
should close it or turn it into a factory.”
College principal Dan Nkosi said the delay in issuing results “was a
“But most of our students have received their results,” he said.
He said the college was not to blame for the delay in issuing results as
the [education] department was responsible for the problem”.
He denied that six students shared one computer at a time.
“We have computer rooms were students go at different times, they do not
go at the same time.”
He said the bursaries were “awarded to some students last year and this
Nkosi said the complaints by the students would be addressed in due course.
Youth threaten to bring Unisa to halt
Posted by The Times - Breaking News on May 19th, 2009
ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa’s job as chairman of Unisa’s
council, is on the line if he does not fire the university’s
vice-chancellor Barney Pityana.
This comes after Young Communist League national secretary and newly
appointed ANC MP Buti Manamela yesterday warned that Unisa’s council
would soon find themselves without jobs if they are “unable” to deal
with Pityana’s “incompetence in running the institution”. “If that
council does not fire Pityana, they should consider themselves gone,”
the fiery Manamela said. Manamela, along with the National Health and
Allied Workers Union, South African Student’s Congress and the YCL are
set to embark on nationwide protests “at all Unisa campuses” from
Thursday “until Pityana is fired”. “We have decided to mobilise both
workers and students to join in the mass action to force Pityana to
resign … [because we are left] with no other option but to render Unisa
ungovernable until Pityana voluntarily resigns or the university council
shows commitments towards firing him,” Manamela said. He said that part
of the reason for the call for Pityana’s removal was the decision to
“refuse” to grant 20 000 students permission to write their mid-year
examinations because they had not paid their tuition fees. The coalition
has also accused Pityana of having banned the SRC and all student
organisations who “would have acted as the mouthpiece of students in
finding a better way of handling the crisis”. Sasco secretary general
Magasela Mzobe said: “If you don’t allow students to write their exams,
you prevent students from acquiring any form of sponsorships that would
help them in covering their fees and continuing with their education.”
Manamela said the coalition was aware that some in the university’s
management supported Pityana. “They can climb on top of the highest
mountain and say Pityana won’t go, but they cannot risk the
ungovernability of that institution,” he said. The YCL has been putting
pressure on the university’s council to get rid of Pityana, who is seen
as one of President Jacob Zuma’s fiercest critics. Much of Pityana’s
criticism of Zuma, the YCL argues, is the product of his affiliation
with Cope. But Manamela yesterday said: “We are going ahead with this
mass action as a matter of principle and not based on his political
affiliation.” Manamela said “it would not be in their best interests”
for students to sit their exams. “We will not in anyway take away pens
and papers from those who are writing, but it is advisable that if they
want to write in a conducive environment they would have to wait for
Pityana to be fired. It’s not possible that you can sit through the loud
singing when there is a protest going on,” he said.
More information about the Debate-list