Illegal Eviction in the Gabon Settlement, Daveyton, East Rand, Ekurhuleni

Monday, 18 September 2017
Abahlali baseGabon Statement

Illegal Eviction in the Gabon Settlement, Daveyton, East Rand, Ekurhuleni

On 4 October last year a large number of people were evicted by the Red Ants from a section of the Gabon settlement, in Daveyton. For three months they stayed with friends and families in the area, or moved to rural areas. In January they started occupying vacant land adjacent to the settlement. There were 211 people that participated in this new occupation.  

On Thursday last week we were called to a meeting by the Municipality. We were told that the land that has been occupied belongs to Spoornet. The Municipal officials and councillors said that they will arrest the people who have opened the new land. They said that they want to build a case against the leadership. However the ANC aligned Ward Committee is also putting people on the very same land, as well as another piece of land nearby. No threats were made to the Ward Committee.

On Friday the Erkuhleni Municipal Police (EMP) arrived and carried out the eviction. They were armed. They destroyed 103 shacks at gunpoint. During the eviction people’s building materials, and property, including furniture, were stolen. But not all the shacks on this land were destroyed –123 shacks were left standing. The shacks that were left standing are those belonging to people who were put on the land by the ANC aligned Ward Committee.

No notice was given before the eviction and there was no court order. This was an illegal eviction. Our comrades began to rebuild immediately after the eviction and are continuing to rebuild. We have been warned that the EMP will return on Tuesday, which is tomorrow, to evict us again.

We will continue to struggle for this land and to rebuild when we are evicted. We are also seeking legal support. If the Municipality continue to say that the occupied land belongs to Spoornet they must give us the free land, which is nearby, that belongs to the Municipality. The ERF number is 3721.

We need land. The social value of land must be placed before its commercial land. Land occupations must be understood as urban planning from below.

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