Nandi Mandela Evicts from the Richmond Farm Transit Camp, 24 July 2009

Nandi Mandela Celebrates Grandfather’s Birthday with the Eviction of 9 Families in Siyanda

KWAMASHU – 23 July 2009 – At 3pm this afternoon, Nandi Mandela, along with police, and a demolition team, attempted to evict three families living in the Richmond Farm transit camp. Mandela and the team broke the locks on the front door, entered, and dumped all the families’ personal belongings outside. The families were at work and school at the time. They received no notice of the eviction. A truck waited to transport them from the site.

Meanwhile, 6 other families living in shacks in nearby Siyanda Section B were told they must move to the Richmond Farm transit camp. They are to replace the 3 families, whose eviction was attempted today. These families also received no official eviction notice, which by law, must be ordered by the courts and delivered by the sheriff. The 6 families are to be forcibly removed to the transit camp to make way for a fence that will run alongside the MR577, a new freeway construction. Nandi Mandela is a representative of Linda Masinga & Associates, a consultancy firm hired by the Department of Transport.

Residents at Richmond Farm transit camp asked Nandi Mandela why her team was breaking the locks and removing the belongings of their neighbours. She said that the families were being moved to permanent houses elsewhere. But the 3 families were never told that they had to move, or that they had been allocated houses. At this time, they still do not know where those permanent houses are located, or if they even exist.

Both these attempted evictions are illegal, and therefore criminal acts. The Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act (PIE) applies to all places where people live, be they jondolos or amatins.

The Abahlali baseMjondolo branch of Siyanda Section C, currently residing in Richmond Farm transit camp, would like to state the following:

– Journalists are encouraged to come to Richmond Farm transit camp. Nandi Mandela said she and her team would return later today. They did not. While the unlawful evictions could proceed at any time, the community expects that the team will return tomorrow.

– Once again, the Department of Transport has its numbers wrong. If 3 families are moved out of the amatins, and 6 families are moved in, it means that some will be left homeless or that two families will have to occupying the same itin. After speaking to us, Nandi Mandela and her team realized they had made a mistake. One of the families, whose belongings were outside, was on a list that meant they were not supposed to be moved. Nandi Mandela apologized, and her team put the belongings back inside.

– Again, Nandi Mandela, Linda Masinga & Associates and Bheki Cele at the Department of Transport are not talking to the community. There is an elected development committee in Richmond Farm. At no time was the development committee, or Abahlali informed of these eviction plans. When members of the committee asked Nandi Mandela why she had not contacted the committee, she did not answer.

– Again, it seems the freeway is breaking apart the whole community. 52 families from Siyanda Section C came to Richmond Farm together in a landmark court case. It forced the municipality to investigate corruption on the Khalula Housing Project, and imposed a timeline for our stay in the amatins. Now, 3 families among the 52 are being told they are being moved to permanent houses, without any indication of where they will be living. It is unacceptable to move people without notice and without any indication of where they will be moved.

– We want to make clear that we will not accept any further attempts to break the locks on the amatins, and remove our personal belongings without notice or consultation. We will respond by replacing the locks, and putting our belongings back inside.

– Finally, we wish to ask, how would you feel if someone was to come and break into your home, take all your belongings while you were at work or at school, and then sat in the car with the police waiting for you to return?

Abahlali, COHRE, and CALS have warned what could happen when people are moved to transit camps with no secure tenure. It seems that Nandi Mandela and Bheki Cele of the Department of Transport think they can move people around whenever and wherever they please without consultation with the community. It seems that they think the amatins are outside the law. This will not be accepted.

Mama Nxumalo 076 333 9386
Abahlali baseMjondolo National Office 031 269 1822

Siyanda – Digital Archive

  • Siyanda residents wounded by police rubber bullets during road blockade, 4 December 2006
  • Protesters hurt as police fire rubber bullets, Daily News, 5 December 2005
  • What Happened at or to the SMI, 18 December 2006
  • Abantu abampofu namaPhoyisa, Izwe Labampofu, 14 January 2007
  • The Strong Poor and the Police, Izwe Labampofu, 19 January 2008
  • No one can have it if we can t , Daily News, 20 August 2008
  • Victory in Court While Evictions Continue Outside, 26 August 2008
  • Ward councillor locked in home over service delay, 12 September 2008
  • Bebesho ukubakhipha ngodli ezindlini zomxhaso,Isolezwe 16 September 2008
  • Siyanda Crisis: Evictions, Police Intimidation, Unjust Housing Allocation etc., 17 September 2008
  • Siyanda Pictures, 17 September 2008
  • Letter to Obed Mlaba on the Siyanda Crisis from the Centre on Housing Rights & Evictions, 24 October 2008
  • Siyanda – the day before the big march, 9 November 2008
  • Memorandum of Demands by the Siyanda Abahlali baseMjondolo Branch, 10 November 2008
  • Pictures of the Siyanda March (1), 10 November 2008
  • Pictures of the Siyanda March(2), 10 November 2008
  • KZN housing development threatened, Daily News 13 November 2008
  • Pictures of the meeting to plan resistance to Bheki Cele s evictions & pictures of the transit camp to which people are supposed to be forcibly removed, 7 December 2008
  • Bheki Cele Threatens 61 Siyanda Families with Forced Removal, 7 December 2008
  • Siyanda Abahlali baseMjondolo Letter to the State Attorney, 9 December 2008
  • Pictures of the removal to the transit camp (accepted by 2 families), 11 December 2008
  • Siyanda on Google Earth, uploaded 12 December 2008
  • 50 Families Remain in the their Homes and Refuse Eviction to “Transit Camp” Under Heavy Police Presence, 18 December 2008
  • Siyanda, Report Back from the High Court, 9 January 2009 (This picture set also shows the size of the Siyanda shacks
  • Siyanda: Agreement on Negotiations, Court Date Set Down for 27 January, 12 January 2009
  • Abahlali baseMjondolo answering affidavit, 22nd January 2009
  • CALS Statement on Forced Removal of Siyanda Residents to Transit Camps, 23 January 2009
  • Mercury Op-Ed: Forced Removals , by Kerry Chance, Marie Huchzermeyer and Mark Hunter 29 January 2009
  • Durban High Court Delays Bheki Cele s Attempt at Forced Removal from Siyanda to the Richmond Farm Transit Camp, 7 February 2009
  • Mercury, Op-Ed: Meeting people s housing rights, by Mike Mabuyakhulu, 9 February 2009
  • Photo of one of the 5 room Siyanda jondolos, 10 February 2009
  • Project halted by protests, The Mercury, 17 February 2009
  • Abahlali baseMjondolo to Launch New Branch in Siyanda , 6 March 2009
  • At the Durban High Court for the Siyanda Case, 6 March 2009
  • Siyanda Win in Court: The Struggle Against Corruption and Transit Camps Continues, 6 March 2009
  • Court orders immediate probe – Progress for shack dwellers in housing row, Mercury, 9 March 2009
  • No temporary solution, The Weekender, 14 March 2009
  • State Criminality in Siyanda, 17 March 2009
  • Pictures of the Siyanda Eviction to Richmond Farm Transit Camp on 17 March 2009 (under judicial oversight……)
  • Balale emnyango ababethenjiswe izindlu zomxhaso, Isolezwe, 20 March 2009
  • Siyanda A and B to March on Housing MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu on Tuesday 14 April 2009, 9 April 2009
  • Pictures of the Siyanda (A&B) March from Siyanda to Downtown KwaMashu, 14 April 2009
  • No homes, no vote threat, The Mercury, 15 April 2009
  • Bakhala ngentuthuko egqozayo abaseSiyanda, Isolezwe, 15 April 2009
  • Siyanda – Mpola – Macassar Village: The War on the Poor Continues, 19 May 2009
  • Siyanda – some pictures, 19 May 2009
  • Video interview from the Siyanda transit camp, 19 May 2009
  • Sad Song of Siyanda, short film by Elkartasun Bideak, 22 May 2009
  • Another Illegal Demolition in Siyanda – call for the immediate arrest of Municipal Official, 27 May 2009
  • Photographs of the remains of Mpume Nompumelelo s shack after illegal demolition, 27 May 2009
  • Mpume Nompumelelo, short film by Elkartasun Bideak showing Mpume Nompumelelo s home, 28 May 2009
  • Mpume Nompumelelo II, short film by Elkartasun Bideak showing the illegal destruction of Mpume Nompumelelo s home, 28 May 2009