The Times: Funeral for baby killed in Durban housing protest

03 June, 2017 10:33, The Times

Teargas killed two-week-old baby Jayden.

Jayden Khoza‚ the two-week-old boy who died after allegedly inhaling teargas during a housing protest in an informal settlement in Durban‚ will be buried at eMolweni cemetery in Inanda on Saturday.

The service will be held at Foreman Road settlement‚ Clare Estate‚ where the protests took place on Monday.

Hundreds of residents took to the streets in the area‚ saying the eThekwini municipality disregarded their rights to dignity and ignored their pleas for housing and electricity.

Abahlali baseMjondolo spokesman Thapelo Mohapi said: “The police responded by attacking the settlement as a whole with fists‚ batons‚ rubber bullets and tear gas. Children started crying‚ coughing and vomiting.”

Receive Khoza‚ the father of Jayden‚ told ENCA that although the teargas canister was thrown behind their yard‚ the smoke went into his home.

An umlindelo (vigil) was held on Friday night to give “Jayden Khosa the respect and dignity he deserved‚ but which was denied to him in an oppressive society”‚ Mohapi said in a statement.

He said representatives from the mayor’s office visited settlement on Thursday. “They said that they were ‘devastated’ and ‘touched’ to see the appalling conditions in which people live and raise their children.

The electrification of the settlement was promised.

But‚ said Mohapi‚ “in 2004 the then Mayor Obed Mlaba visited the settlement and promised houses. Many promises have been made since then. None of those promises have been kept. The people of Foreman remain without houses‚ without electricity and without concrete paths on the steep muddy banks.”

The municipality has said there are housing backlogs and that it planned to build about 14500 houses in the next three years.

Police said a post-mortem would reveal the cause of Jayden’s death.