Category Archives: Ekurhuleni

Diary of Alfred Moyo from the Deposed Makause Development Forum – Part 2

SMS diary – Follow-up on Makause Development Forum’s ousting by the ANC, and its remobilisation

27 June 2011 (evening) – Today Michael and I consulted with SERI to get their legal advice on this matter. Unfortunately there’s not much that they can do and we also highlighted the negative involvement of the SAPS which might also compromise our personal safety and Makause more as threats of burning down our shacks and looting the Somalians’ shops made in police presence. So we and SERI agreed on strategic approaches of dealing with these challenges: 1) to remobilise the community through section by section mass meetings with the assistance/presence of SERI starting this coming Wednesday … (rest of sms missing and not recovered)

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Diary of Alfred Moyo from the Deposed Makause Development Forum

The Makause Informal Settlement Forum in Primrose, Ekurhuleni was overthrown today by the local ANC with the support of the SAPS. The Makause Forum is an independent structure that had been democratically elected to represent the community. Some individual members of the committee have links to the ISN but the committee as a whole remains independent. The overthrow of another community structure by an ANC mob, backed with police support, brings back painful memories for Abahlali baseMjondolo and we are in full solidarity with the Makause Forum. We call on comrades in Johannesburg to show active support to the comrades in Makause and for everyone in this country who calls themselves a democrat to insist that the poor have the full right to organise themselves autonomously from the ANC if that is their wish. This insistence remains useless for as long as it remains abstract and something spoken about in conferences. Solidarity must be concrete, a living force on the ground.

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ANC Branch Threatens Attack on the Leadership of the Makause Shack Settlement

Abahlali baseMjondolo stands in full solidarity with the democratically elected leadership of the Makause settlement as they face threats of violence from the ANC branch in Primrose. We are far away in distance but close in spirit and we will do all that we can to mobilise support for the comrades in Makause as their community politic faces the threat of repression from party politic. As our experience shows very well these threats must be taken very seriously by all democrats.

Makause Press Statement
Sunday 29 May 2011

Primrose ANC Branch Threatens Attack on the Leadership of the Makause Shack Settlement in Ekurhuleni

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M&G: ‘There is no human who can sleep in this’

Click here to see a slideshow on this eviction and its aftermath.

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-10-18-there-is-no-human-who-can-sleep-in-this

‘There is no human who can sleep in this’
KARABO KEEPILE | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – Oct 18 2010 15:30

Evicted shack dwellers from the Gabon informal settlement on the East Rand have refused to occupy the 72 corrugated iron shacks built for them by the Ekurhuleni Municipality. This after they were evicted and their shacks demolished on May 11.

According to community members, “Red Ants [security guards known for the colour of their overalls] destroyed about 350 shacks on the day”.

However, only 72 evicted community members gathered outside Constitutional Hill in July to seek legal representation, since many of the other evicted residents intimidated by the police had fled the area.

According to Reghana Tulk — the lawyer representing the evicted community members — evicted residents received unaddressed notices 24 hours prior to their evictions.

However, evicted residents that the Mail & Guardian spoke to denied receiving such notice.

Many claimed they were not home when the demolitions took place and had received no earlier warning. Many also said their belongings had either been destroyed or misplaced during the demolitions.

One resident, Moses Mahlalela, said his TV had been damaged while his generator and blankets had been stolen.

Settlement agreement

In accordance with a settlement agreement handed down on August 10 by the South Gauteng High Court, the evictions and demolitions were found to be unlawful.

As a result, the municipality was ordered to rebuild 72 shacks of the people who sought legal recourse.

According to Reghana Tulk — the lawyer representing the evicted community members — all parties involved agreed on a show house, which was represented as a sample of the 72 units to be constructed, and became the agreed standard as to what would constitute restitution as ordered by the court on August 30.

“We agreed on single metal sheets, wooden beams in the ceiling, about 16m², two windows and a door,” Tulk told the M&G.

However, on her first inspection visit on September 6, she realised that what had been agreed upon had not been complied with.

According to Tulk, all of the 72 units did not conform with the show house, and are not stable — they have not been constructed from single metal sheets but rather from second-hand, rusted cut metal, “which has been haphazardly joined together by old and rusted bolts”.

In addition, there are no stable wooden beams holding up the roof of each unit, representing a safety concern.

Evicted residents have since refused to occupy the shacks, saying they are poorly built, incomplete and dangerous to live in. Many of these people are homeless, sleeping at the homes of neighbours, friends or family members.

‘The shacks they demolished were fine’
Pointing at a shoddily reconstructed shack on October 11, Mfanzile Msibi, chairperson of the Informal Settlement Network, was obviously unimpressed.

“The shacks were supposed to be complete, but as you can see with this one, they are incomplete; there is no door, you look at the window it’s broken, and even the roofs are leaking. Even the floor, it was supposed to be cemented, unlike the condition it is right now. The condition should have been conducive to human life, not like the one that they have built and want to accommodate people.”

Community leader Dumisani Ncapayi No agreed.

“The shacks they demolished were fine. Now they have built structures fit for pigs, because there is no human who can sleep in this.”

According to the municipality, the evicted residents were residing unlawfully at the premises concerned and were evicted without a court order because the structures were half-built and did not constitute homes.

However, many evicted residents said they had been residing on the land for several years, some from as early as 1999.

According to Tulk, the municipality has also contended that the sample unit was a not a show house, despite two other municipal employees confirming with Tulk that the show house was a sample unit of the 72 units to be constructed.

However, this information was only revealed in correspondence to Tulk on September 22, almost a month after the first site inspection.

According to Tulk, evicted Gabon residents won’t take occupation of the current corrugated shacks “until such time as proper restitution is made in accordance with the court order”. Until such time, she says, the municipality is in contempt of court.

Two deaths, dozens of injuries and counting…An investigation into politically motivated violence against the LPM in Gauteng

Two deaths, dozens of injuries and counting…

Investigation into politically motivated violence in eTwatwa (Gauteng) and other Landless People’s Movement affiliated settlements during May 2010

prepared by Jared Sacks for the Gauteng Landless People’s Movement
5 July 2010

Click here to download the report in pdf.

Introduction

Reports of political violence in South Africa are on the upsurge. There has been a clear increase in aggressive attempts to undermine social movement activities in the past few years. As a result of the violence, social movements activists, migrants and ethnic minorities have often been forced into exile from their communities.

The following report investigates allegations of politically-sanctioned and coordinated attacks on the Landless Peoples Movement in the informal settlement area of eTwatwa in the Municipality of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng. These attacks have resulted in the forced removal of numerous residents who have, as a direct consequence of the attacks, been forced from their homes and, often, into hiding. This report focuses on the historical context behind the attacks as well as how the attacks have affected the relevant communities.

This report is based on interviews conducted during the first weeks of June 2010. The interviews focused on the experience of landless people in eTwatwa in which 15 community-members were interviewed both individually and in groups. Interviews were also conducted with members of the Protea South community. Unless otherwise cited, all the information contain within the report is the product of these anonymous interviews and empirical evidence gained from the investigations into the events of May 2010.

For comment from the Landless People’s Movement please contact:

Dan Mofokeng (eTwatwa) 078 679 9435

Clement (eTwatwa) 078 571 4927

Edward Leople (eTwatwa) 083 885 5009

Solly (eTwatwa) 078 498 3280

David Mathontsi (eTwatwa) 073 914 9868

Tsepo (eTwatwa Youth) 078 839 4874

Maureen Mnisi (Protea South) 082 337 4514

Bongani Xezwi (Protea South) 071 043 2221

Maas Van Wyk (Protea South) 079 267 3203

Thomas Maemganyi (Protea South) 072 613 2738

Bazino Lihlebi (Harry Gwala) 084 704 4144

Johnson Nokutwana (Harry Gwala) 078 240 5538

Moray Hathorn (lawyer for LPM) 083 266 1081