Thursday, 31 August 2017
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Tomorrow We Return to the Durban High Court as State Criminality Continues to Escalate
On 27 July 2017 the eThekwini Municipality was interdicted against demolishing, burning, removing or otherwise destroying and disposing of housing structures or threatening to do so in seven land occupations where residents are affiliated to Abahlali baseMjondolo. Those whose homes had been destroyed were given the right to rebuild them.
Since then there have been repeated violent evictions by the Municipality in brazen violation of the court interdict. People have suffered serious and permanent injuries at the hands of the Municipality during these evictions. Today there were particularly brutal evictions in Cato Manor and Marianridge. Both of these evictions were in violation of the interdict and were therefore, in terms of the law, illegal and criminal acts.
Tomorrow we return to the Durban High Court. The Municipality, together with the Province, will be filing replying papers and arguing that the interdict should not be made permanent. We are wondering why we are going back to court in light of the plain fact that we are confronting a state that considers impoverished black people to be beneath the law.
The state is encouraging residents living in formal houses to organise themselves against land occupations. This attempt to divide the working class and the poor, to isolate the poor and to legitimate state criminality and repression is a worrying development. We will continue to work to build the broadest possible alliances in support of the democratisation of our cities.
We continue to take the position that the social value of land must be placed before its commercial value. We continue to take the position that democratically organised land occupations must be recognised as a form of legitimate urban planning from below.
Land. Housing. Dignity.
Ndabo Mzimela 073 242 2043
Sihle Cele 060 817 0891