Friday, July 7, 2017
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Brutal Evictions and Road Blockades are Continuing
As we explained in our statement yesterday we marched, in our thousands, on the Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality and the KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance on 26 June. However the Mayor and the MEC refused to present themselves to the thousands of people who marched on the City Hall.
The memoranda that we handed over gave them seven days to respond to our demands. We made it clear that if there was no response we would engage in further protest action. The seven days passed with no response. This the politic of contempt. Continue reading →
The extreme weather conditions gripping the country this winter are also exposing the country’s faultlines. We’ve had hail storms, floods, tornadoes and landslides but there is, and has always been, a distinct pattern to who is affected by these conditions. The poor, especially those living in informal settlements, bear the brunt of facing hazardous weather conditions and natural disasters.
Shack-dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) lost two of its members on Monday 25th July, during a landslide caused by the storms in eNsimbini, a settlement near Durban. The deceased, Nkosinathi Raphael Myeki and Ntombifuthi Prudence Sithole, were trapped beneath their collapsed shacks, rubble and debris. Their bodies could only be recovered on Tuesday after residents worked throughout the day digging in search of them. Thembani Ngongoma, an ABM spokesperson, told the Daily Vox that many were traumatised by the loss of life on Monday and that a mass gathering was currently taking place to decide on a way forward. Continue reading →
Our lives count for nothing as we are left to die in the shacks
Rain is usually considered as a blessing. It is often considered as a gift from the Almighty and amaDlozi. During the drought we were all waiting for the rain to come. But the storms in Durban hit impoverished people, and especially shack dwellers, very hard. Peoples’ possessions and homes were damaged and destroyed. Lives were lost.
Our lives do not count as human lives to this society. It is sad and shameful that we are living the life that we are living. Continue reading →
Evictions at the Chris Hani (eNsimbini) and Marikana (Cato Crest) Land Occupations
At ten o’clock this morning five shacks were demolished by the Land Invasions Unit in the Chris Hani Land Occupation in eNsimbini. This land was occupied in February last year. The shacks that were demolished are new shacks that were built about two weeks ago by people that were renting nearby and decided to join the occupation to avoid having to pay rent. As usual there was no court order authorising these evictions and they were, therefore, an illegal and criminal act on the part of the eThekwini Municipality. The residents of these new shacks were at work when the eviction happened and so there was no confrontation.
On Wednesday eleven shacks were demolished in the Nqobile section of the Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest. These shacks were built in May. This eviction happened as a result of a complaint by a private businessman located near to the occupation. Continue reading →
Bahlali Bayanda! Three Branches Launched on Sunday.
On Friday we joined thousands of others in Durban and marched in support of Gaza. We will continue to look for ways to support the struggle in Palestine.
On Sunday we launched three branches. The first two branches to be launched were in eNsimbini in Chesterville and KwaNdengezi in Pinetown. The comrades in eNsimbini have been struggling against evictions. They are being left homeless as their traditional homes are being demolished to make way for RDP houses. In April Baba Cele and Baba David Ngubane were both shot and wounded when they asked to see a court order during an illegal eviction perpetrated by the eThekwini Municipality. This was the twelfth eviction in the area. There have been no demolitions here for the last two months, probably due to strong resistance. The comrades at eNsimbini have named their new branch ‘Chris Hani’. They have requested copies of the Constitution for all members. They are well aware that when residents know this law this knowing does not force the Municipality to obey the law but they feel that it is important that everybody understands clearly that the Municipality is a criminal organisation and that resistance to it is just.