Landless People’s Movement v The City of Johannesburg

Thursday, 12 February 2009
Landless People’s Movement Press Statement

Landless People’s Movement v The City of Johannesburg
Jo’burg High Court, 10:00 Friday 13 February 2009

Over the years we, the Protea South branch of the Landless People’s Movement, have marched many times and we have been arrested, beaten and tortured. Tomorrow will meet the City of Johannesburg in the High Court.

Our demands to the court are the same demands that we have taken to the streets:

1. The government shacks (i.e. the transit camp) must be immediately removed from our area. They are a deep insult to our human dignity.

2. There must be an immediate halt to all threats of forced removal to the human dumping ground of Doornkop. We are all, documented and undocumented, citizens of Johannesburg and we will defend our right to this city.

3. All basic services must be provided to our settlement. It is unacceptable for the government to declare our settlements to be ‘temporary’ and to then use that declaration as an excuse to withhold life saving basic services. We occupied this land and founded this settlement in 1985 – our community is not temporary. By refusing to provide basic services to shack settlements they are trying to turn our communities into slums so that they can then eradicate us from the cities.

The struggle of the residents of Protea South against forced removal and against government shacks and for the participatory upgrading of our community where we have been living since 1985 is strongly supported by the Poor People’s Alliance which is an unfunded network of democratic poor people’s movements made up of the following organisations:

Abahlali baseMjondolo (KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape)
Anti-Eviction Campaign (Western Cape)
Landless People’s Movement (Gauteng)
Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal)

From Joe Slovo in Cape Town, to Kennedy Road in Durban, Ash Road in Pietermaritzburg and Protea South in Johannesburg we have one message:

Our settlements are communities to be supported, not slums to be eradicated.

Down with forced removals to rural human dumping grounds.
Down with government shacks.
Down with the Slums Act.
Down with the return to apartheid city planning.
Down with Mike Mabuyakulu.
Down with Lindiwe Sisulu.

For further information and comment on this case please contact:

Maureen Mnisi, Landless People’s Movement, Protea South: 082 337 4514
Thomas Maemganyi, Landless People’s Movement, Protea South: 072 613 2738
Moray Hawthorn, pro bono lawyer at Webber Wentzel: 083 266 1081

For general comment on the return to apartheid city planning (forced removals, transit camps, the Slums Act, peripheral ghettoes, police attacks on shack dweller’s protests etc) contact:

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo: 083 547 0474
Maureen Mnisi, Landless People’s Movement: 082 337 4514
Rev. Mavuso, Rural Network: 072 279 2634
Ashraf Casiem, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign: 076 186 1408