Victory in Court, Blood in the Occupation

Friday, 24 April 2020
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Victory in Court, Blood in the Occupation

Today we went back to the High Court in Durban to ask the court to enforce the interdict granted against evictions in the eKhenana occupation in February 2019.

The eKhenana occupation was violently attacked by Calvin & Family Security on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, while the Durban Metro Police looked on. Live ammunition was fired at unarmed people, homes were destroyed, money and phones were stolen and people were subject to serious abuse. These attacks were in brazen violation of the February 2019 interdict, the law, the Constitution and the lockdown regulations.  

Mxolisi Kaunda, the mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, has been quoted as saying that he has warned Abahlali that land occupations are not acceptable. This had led many of our members to conclude that it is the mayor who has given the orders to repeatedly attack our occupations during the lockdown.

The court granted us our request today and the eThekwini Municipality was interdicted from any further evictions in the eKhenana occupation without an order of the court. But minutes after the judgment was issued the eThekwini Municipality’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit attacked the occupation and shot one of our comrades, Yamkela Vezi. He has been rushed to King Edward hospital where he is in a serious condition.

We were reminded of 2009 when, shortly after we won our case against the Slums Act in the Constitutional Court, we were attacked in the Kennedy Road settlement by armed ANC supporters, acting with the support of the police, who destroyed our office and library, and attacked and destroyed the homes of our leading members in the settlement. At the time statements made by the John Mchunu, the then chairperson of the ANC in the eThekwini region, led a number of independent observers to conclude that the attack was a direct punishment for taking the ANC to the Constitutional Court, and then winning the case.

We are now wondering if the attack in eKhenana occupation shortly after the judgment against the City was issued was punishment for taking the City to court, and winning.

The struggle continues in the occupations, in the courts, and soon in the streets.

Umzabalazo uyaqhubeka noma besidubula.

Mqapheli Bonono 073 0673 274
S’bu Zikode 083 547 0474
Lindokuhle Mnguni 081 491 4027