Violent and Illegal Eviction Underway at the Barcelona 2 Transit Camp, Lamontville

Friday, 15 June 2018

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement


Violent and Illegal Eviction Underway at the Barcelona 2 Transit Camp, Lamontville

Mayor Zandile Gumede has started her ‘dealing’ with Abahlali

This morning at around 10:00 a.m. the Anti-Land Invasion Unit, accompanied by heavily armed security guards, attacked the Barcelona 2 ‘Transit Camp’ in Lamontville. It is a short walk from where Sibonelo Mpeku, our chairperson in the Sisonke Village land occupation, was kidnapped and murdered on 19 November last year.

No court order was provided therefore this is eviction, carried out at gunpoint, is an illegal and criminal act.

Barcelona 2 is a so called ‘transit camp’ that was built by the Municipality to hide impoverishment and homelessness during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Many families were forcibly evicted from their homes and moved into ‘transit camps’.

‘Transit camps’ were also used by the apartheid regime. They are like concentration camps used to hide impoverished black people and to take control over their communities. They are not fit for human beings. It is incredible that a democratically elected black government would do this to our people.

The people moved into Barcelona 2 were told that they would not stay there for longer than three to six months. They have now been there for more than seven years. The houses that were meant for them were instead given to ANC members via SANCO and people claiming to be MK veterans.

The Councillor in the Ward is Eunice Khanyile. A large number of ANC supporters in the ward refused to vote for her in the last local government election and instead voted for an independent candidate. After the election there were sustained claims of fraud. Boxes of ballot papers were found at a local dumpsite.

We managed to hold a meeting despite the ongoing attack on the community. The residents reported that Khanyile has said that she is “cleansing the area of amaMpondo”. This is outrageous but not surprising in Durban. We continue to insist that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. On this principle there can be no compromise.

The Anti-Land Invasions Unit said they will finish evicting at 22:00 this evening.

From what we could tell in the confusion 47 households have been evicted so far. At least one person has been injured.

On Wednesday the Durban Metro Police shot at least four people at the Kennedy Road settlement. They shot people who are trying to survive by picking metals and other materials from the Bisasa landfill site. They used live ammunition and three of the four remain in hospital seriously injured and fighting for their lives.

‘Dealing with us’ has come in different forms. We have counted 16 people in or near to our movement that have been killed as a result of repression since 2009. It is clear that the Mayor can assist the police and the general public in explaining to what extent the project to ‘deal with us’ has been effective.

The ANC in Durban is a violent, criminal and dangerous enemy of the dignity, safety and unity of the people. We will continue to build unity in struggle and to resist the ongoing violence and criminality of the ANC in Durban. We will not accept their attempt to run this city as if it were a Bantustan.

We stand for a free and democratic city in a free and democratic South Africa. A neighbour is a neighbour and a comrade is a comrade. It makes no difference what province or country they were born in, or what language they speak at home.

We are determined to resist the gangsterism of the ANC in Durban, and its police and Anti-Land Invasion Unit. We are exploring the possibility of legal action against the Mayor and her Anti-Land Invasion Unit. The struggle continues.

Simbongile Jujebe 065 562 4098

Thapelo Mohapi 062 892 5323

Mqapheli Bonono 073 067 3274