Four evictions yesterday in Gugulethu with promises of more to come

Gugulethu Backyarders Press Release
29 September 2010

Four evictions yesterday in Gugulethu with promises of more to come

The Gugulethu community experienced four major evictions yesterday and, according to the presiding Sheriff of the Court, there are many more evictions to come.

As of yesterday evening, three out of the four evictions have been reversed by community members with the support of anti-eviction activists. But the events are a wake up call to us – we need to unite and be on alert if we are going to be able to prevent further evictions in our neighbourhoods.

List of four evictions:

1. The Mgidlana Family – The Mgidlana household residing in NY28 #94 is a very large family that includes little children up to elder pensioners. Yesterday, the 27th of September, the Sheriff of the Court showed up with the police and evicted residents using a Notice of Ejectment. However, this eviction which came without notice or warning failed to follow the necessary legal procedures laid out in the PIE Act. The eviction is therefore illegal, not to mention immoral. With the support of friends, neighbours and community activists, the Mgidlana Family has now been returned to their home.

2. The Dube Family – Yesterday, Lindelwa Dube and her household which resides in NY128 #8, were removed by police and the Sheriff. They were evicted around the same time as the Mgidlana Family. The family says that they never received any prior notice or any eviction papers from the Sheriff. This makes the eviction an illegal and potentially criminal act. The Dube family has now been returned to their home by the community.

3. The Tungata Family – The Tungata household was also evicted yesterday from their family home in NY130 #8. Vuyiswa Tungata says that they were not given any formal notice by the Sheriff either in advance or on the day of the eviction. This makes the eviction an illegal and potentially criminal act. The family, however, is now back in their home because of the actions of the community and anti-eviction activists.

4. Skhoma Butchery – On the same day, the seemingly busy Sheriff evicted embattled Skhoma Butchery from their trading location in the NY6 small business trading centre. Skhoma moved to their current location after being evicted by local business tycoon Mzoli Ngcawuzele to make way for the new Gugulethu Square Mall. This was dubbed a fight of ‘David and Goliath’ proportions. Through a court settlement, Skhoma was eventually given trading space in NY6 with rent to be paid for by Mzoli Properties until a suitable alternative was found. However, Tuesday’s eviction came without warning, without notice and even without as much as a court order from the Sheriff. As of this morning, Skhoma’s equipment is still outside the premises thought their meat is still on-site in the fridge. Small businesses in the area fear that Skhoma is the first of many more small businesses slated for eviction in order to make way for an expansion of the Gugulethu Square Mall.

When we spoke to the Sheriff of the Court who was present to carry out the evictions, he boasted to us that he was going to step up evictions in Gugulethu in the coming weeks. Vulnerable Gugulethu residents are mobilising to stop any further evictions in their community.

We as the poor will not let wealthy banks and businessmen prey on us. We will stand up for our rights!

For more information contact:

Sindile Mgidlana at 0731672330 (NY28 #94)
Lindelwa Dube at 0733640100 (NY128 #8)
Thandi Koyana at 0799362625 (Skhoma Butchery)
Mncedisi Twalo at 0785808646 (Gugulethu Backyarders)