25 August 2017
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Evictions at gun point continue in Cato Manor: Province fails in court
Residents in a new land occupation in Cato Manor have come under sustained and violent attack from the state and members of the ANC. On Tuesday Smiso Maphumulo was shot in the eye. Yesterday Noluthando Masikiza was shot in the eye.
Their ‘crime’ is that they have been impoverished by a system of oppression and have occupied land in order to have a place to live. The government of this country has no regard for the poor. It treats our legitimate and urgent aspirations for justice as criminal and rules us with violence.
The Municipality has been interdicted by the High Court in Durban to refrain from demolishing, destroying and burning people’s property in seven land occupations, including the new land occupation in Cato Manor. The court interdict further states that people whose homes were demolished are allowed to reconstruct. But because the ANC in the Province considers itself as law unto themselves they have continued with the evictions in violation of the court interdict.
Yesterday the Anti-Land Invasion Unit continued to demolish people’s homes in Cato Manor. When the shacks were destroyed the materials were burnt. This was an unlawful and violent attack undertaken by a criminal state.
In Women’s Month the government of the ANC keeps emphasising their role in the fight for the rights of women. We ask which women are these when armed agents of the state can shoot at women who are poor and living under shameful conditions? The situation in Cato Manor is getting out of hand because the ANC does not want to respect the processes of the law and because it holds impoverished black people in such contempt that it does not recognise our humanity.
Today we had to go back to the High Court after being served with an application by the Province to continue to evict people in Cato Manor. They want to evict first and then get permission from the court later. That is how the brutal and criminal government in KwaZulu-Natal operates. The Province failed to win an interdict in court and both parties will have to return to court on 1 September. Until then the interdict protecting the occupiers continues to be in force.
We will continue to ensure that those who protected by the interim order are safe and have a shelter. Those who consider us as the third force must realise that that we are fighting for justice for the poor and the oppressed. If fighting for the poor means that we are identified as the third force then so be it. We cannot stop fighting for the poor, for ourselves, because we are called the third force.
The struggle for land, housing and dignity continues.
Thapelo Mohapi 072 072 0686
S’bu Zikode 083 547 0474