1 October 2014
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement
Another political eviction in Sisonke Village, near Lamontville
On Sunday 28 September 2014 the ANC Ward 74 councillor Nolubabalo Mthembu called an ANC meeting to discuss ways of replacing the Land Invasion Unit with an ANC demolition team. This meeting took place at the Lamontville Community hall in the afternoon at around 1pm. The Task Team Committee was launched to carry out the illegal eviction of the nearby Sisonke settlement. Sisonke Village, formerly known as Madlala Village, made headlines early this year when they approached the Constitutional Court after they had been subjected to more than 24 illegal evictions. Continue reading
Evictions: South Africa’s bitter, year-round trauma
Every year, when the temperature dips toward zero, there is a stream of stories in the national media about evictions. The stories emphasise the brutality of evictions – and what Colin Bundy, many years ago, described as the “trauma, frustration, grief, dull dragging apathy and surrender of the will to live” that follow them. And the winter weather helps us imagine the depth of that trauma, and the experience of sleeping on the streets in the frigid night air. But the reality is that evictions and their associated traumas are a year-round feature of South African society.
It isn’t supposed to be this way. Our “never again” Constitution, as the Chief Justice has called it, requires that evictions take place only with the permission of the court – and only where the court has decided that it would be fair, just and equitable to do so, all things considered. An eviction is only fair, in the eyes of our courts, if an evicted person has somewhere else to go – some shelter either provided through their own efforts, or through state support.
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
Our Struggle to be counted as Part of the Public Continues
On the 5 of September 2013 Sibongile Msiya, Nokulunga Magobongo and Bhekani Mzinhle were arrested in Cato Crest. Their homes in the Marikana Land Occupation had just been illegally destroyed by the eThekwini Municipality. The residents responded by organising a road blockade. When the first police officers arrived on the scene the three comrades showed them a court order interdicting the Municipality from carrying out evictions. When the Superintendent, Mganga, arrived the three comrades were arrested on the spot. They were all charged with ‘public violence’. Their real ‘crime’ in the eyes of Mganga was that they were standing up for their rights and showing the police that the Municipality’s actions were illegal and criminal acts against the public.
Monday 7 July 2014
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
The Local ANC Disrupted an Abahlali meeting in Madlala Village Yesterday
Madlala Village is situated in the South of Durban near Lamontville Township. The settlement was founded by Siza Madlala in 2012. This community was a home to about 389 residents before they were evicted more than twenty five times. The settlement is now home to about 25 families.
Abahlali in Madlala Village, mostly women, had scheduled a meeting with the leadership of Abahlali in order to present ubuhlalism to the community. This is part of the process for a community to join the movement. This was intended to be the second meeting Abahlali meeting in the community since February this year when we joined the community as friends of the court in the Constitutional Court for the case known as Zulu and 389 other vs MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works and another. The first meeting went very well but at the end of the meeting there came a young man who claimed to own the settlement and warned us that in future we will have to get a permit from local ANC structures and the local councillor or the Abahlali cars will be burnt. It was clear that the local community was very angry and did not approve his threats. They told us not to worry. We are used to these kinds of threats, as well as anonymous threats by telephone, and we did not worry.
Illegal Durban evictions, and the meaning of emancipatory politics
The elections of 1994 inaugurated a rights-based society, with an inclusive democratic constitution, subject to oversight of a Constitutional court. But if the ANC’s respect for constitutionalism is now open to question, where should we be looking for defence of the law, the Constitution and the rights it enshrines? The issue is raised sharply in attacks on communities, which have been evicted in spite of court orders declaring these illegal. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
Freedom, in its full meaning, is a continuous process of refining, redefining, engagement and contestation. In the 1980s those involved in the liberation struggle sometimes strategised with flip charts. A line would be drawn down the middle and on one side there would be ‘the People’ and the other ‘the Enemy’. We would then assess the strengths and weaknesses of our forces and those of the other side. While there were some political organisations or strata that did not fit easily into these categories, in general we were clear the ‘progressive forces’ were those who worked to end Apartheid and establish a democratic South Africa. It was also clear who constituted or was allied to ‘the regime’.