Daily News: Shack dwellers march stopped

This headline is misleading in that although the police unlawfully banned the march, and although there was considerable intimidation beforehand, led by the ward councillor and the chairperson of the local ANC BEC, and although the ANC organised an intimidatory counter protest outside the councillor’s office, and the although the police were not at all neutral in how they related to the two groups, the march still went ahead. There was never any intention to enter the councillor’s office.


Shack dwellers march stopped

Sihle Mlambo

Durban – A large group from the shack-dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, were prevented by police from entering the Reservoir Hills premises of a ward councillor to deliver a memorandum of demands.

Abahlali staged a march on Friday to signal their unhappiness with the councillor of Ward 23, Themba Mtshali, who they said was corrupt and not fulfilling his role adequately.

The memorandum accused Mtshali of failing to deliver basic services including water and electricity, sanitation, roads, refuse collection and housing.

It was received and signed for by Mandla Msomi from the premier’s office. He told the crowd he would relay the complaints to the premier.

Mtshali said he had to attend a council meeting on the same day.

He said yesterday that he had been informed that most of the marchers were not residents of his ward.

Mtshali said mobile toilets were being provided for the area and more were planned for other areas.

Electricity had been installed in one of the 17 informal settlements in the ward and two housing projects, which would benefit four settlements were on the table, he said.

There was a strong presence of metro police and SAPS in the area.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the march was authorised by the city manager, S’bu Sithole.

He said the Aquarius Building was private property and no authority to enter the premises was granted, “hence the marchers were dealt with outside the premises”.

The marchers dispersed peacefully, Zwane said. – Daily News