Category Archives: Sne Masuku

Citizen: Shack dwellers get their day in court

Sne Masuku & Yadhana Jadoo, The Citizen

Champagne and celebrations galore were the order of the day when the KwaZulu-Natal High Court ruled yesterday that an interdict obtained by the province’s human settlements and public works MEC to evict shack dwellers was illegal.

The ruling, which the Socioeconomic Rights Institute (Seri) said has “national implications”, also sent a clear message to municipalities and property owners seeking similar interdicts.

Abahlali baseMjondolo, an organisation representing shack dwellers, approached the high court in May questioning the legality of the use of a blanket interdict granted by Judge Koen on March 28, 2013. It had interdicted anyone from occupying 1 068 properties owned by the state.

The eThekwini Municipality used the order obtained by the MEC, Ravi Pillay, to evict shack dwellers at Cato Crest (Marikana) and Lamont (Sisonke) informal settlements.

Hundreds of shack dwellers camped outside the high court ahead of the ruling, as they sang liberation songs. Abahlali baseMjondolo president Sbusiso Zikode said the ruling would benefit all shack dwellers in the country and those dispossessed of their land.

“This high court ruling is finally going to bring dignity to the people living in shacks. From now on, people living in shacks would be able to sleep better at night knowing that no one would kick them out of their homes,” he said.

“They looked down on people living in shacks for too long. We have been in and out of courts, even to the Constitutional Court. Today we have finally defeated the government legally.”

However, he said other issues such as the compensation of the victims and the families of those who died during the forced evictions at gun point were not yet finalised.

Citizen: Much-anticipated ruling on future of shack dwellers

Sne Masuku, The Citizen

Thousands of shack dwellers from around the country will today be eagerly waiting to hear the KwaZulu-Natal High Court’s ruling on the legality of the eviction of shack dwellers.

The High Court judge in Durban had reserved the ruling on the matter that is set to change the lives of people living at informal settlement since 21 May this year.

Abahlali baseMjondolo President Sbusiso Zikode said shack dwellers would come out in numbers at the Durban High Court to receive the much-anticipated decision that they believe is long over due for both shack dwellers and a large number of South Africans who have been deprived of their land. Continue reading

Sowetan: Resident’s anger

Residents’ anger

29 July 2008
Sne Masuku

Protesters demand service delivery and RDP houses they were promised

Rush hour traffic came to a complete standstill yesterday morning when angry residents of KwaMancinza at Ntuzuma township in Durban blockaded the main roads and prevented buses and taxis from leaving the depot in the area.

They were protesting against poor service delivery and lack of housing in the area. Schooling and work were also disrupted as pupils and workers joined the march.

The more than 2000 residents from sections B and C gathered as early as 4am.

They marched through the streets before heading to KwaMashu’s indoor sports centre to deliver a memorandum to municipal official Desmond Myeza.

They also called for the resignation of their ward councillor, Skhumbuzo Ndaba, saying he had done nothing to develop the area since he was appointed in 2000.

Residents said they were tired of waiting, claiming the municipality had promised them RDP houses since 1998 – and 10 years later, nothing has been delivered.

“We are living in an urban area, but we do not have water or proper sanitation. We still use pit toilets, and we are living in mud and zinc structures,” said a resident.

They say running tap water is limited in the area and are demanding better homes with proper taps equipped with bathrooms and toilets.

The protesters carried knobkerries and sticks. They burnt tyres and called on bystanders waiting for public transport to join the march.

The municipality has been given three days to respond to the grievances. Police reinforcements were deployed to the area as early as 4am to monitor the situation.

No one was arrested or reported injured. Protest organiser Lindani Khumalo said Ndaba had been the councillor for 10 years, but he had done nothing for the community of KwaMancinza.

” We have raised our complaints with him several times, but he ignores us. So we decided to make our grievances heard by organising a march,” said Khumalo.

He said they also tried to engage the office of the MEC for housing and local government, Mike Mabuyakhulu, earlier this year. They say he promised to send people to the area, but it has not happened. ” Children as young as five are forced to walk more than 10 kilometres to schools because we don’t have our own primary school in the area,” said Khumalo.

Mabuyakhulu’s spokesman Lennox Mabaso said he would have to check on the plans the municipality had for the area.

Sowetan: Families Evicted (Durban)

Sowetan 7/3/2008

Families evicted

07 March 2008
Sne Masuku

Homeless: Angry community representatives waiting outside the offices of eThekwini Municipality in Durban yesterday to hand over a memorandum containing their grievances about the way the process of allocating them houses had been badly handled. PHOTO: MAKGOTSO GULUBE

Two hundred people have been forced to live in tents after they were evicted from the homes they had occupied for about 15 years.

Yesterday angry community representatives marched to the offices of eThekwini Municipality in Durban to hand over a memorandum highlighting frustrations over the delay in the process of allocating them houses.

The community was kicked off the land they had occupied in Sea Cowlake, near Newlands in Durban, without notice. They were told the area was to be used for a site for businesses.

This came after some business owners bought the land from the municipality.

Although community members say they were no longer angry that their land had been taken away suddenly, they said their dream was for the municipality to allocate them another area and rebuild their homes.

Thembinkosi Qumbelo, the chairman of the South African Shacks and Rural Dwellers Organisation, said the community was told they would be allocated another area to build on after a month, but five months later nothing had been done.

“The community is housed in two tents near where they were evicted.

“Family bonds are being destroyed and compromised since women and children sleep in a separate tent from their male family members,” he said.

During the march, women sang that they were missing their husbands now that they went to sleep without them.

“We need to rebuild the family relationships destroyed since we were kicked out of our homes,” said a woman .

Qumbela said the process of building proper houses for the shack dwellers was very slow.

The march proceeded peacefully, monitored by police until the protesters reached Durban City Hall where the eThekwini Municipality deputy manager, Derrick Naidoo, came out to receive the memorandum.

Click here to read the story and see the pictures in Isolezwe at the time of the eviction late last year.

Sowetan: Cops under probe

The Sowetan
Cops under probe

15 February 2008
Sne Masuku

830 police investigated for various criminal cases – ICD.

Statistics by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) that out of the 830 cases against police, only one officer was convicted, prove that police are doing their job.

This was the response by SAPS spokesman Jay Naicker to the statistics released by the ICD yesterday.

Naicker said the number of cases being investigated by the ICD do not mean that those officers are automatically guilty.

Naicker said all the cases arise on a day-to-day basis while police are on duty, and the reason why only one conviction was made is that the courts decline to prosecute if the officers acted within the law.

“For example, if a police officer shoots a suspect, in most instances the ICD would open a case of attempted murder.

“But that does not mean that police members are guilty. And if found not guilty, the case is closed.”

“We do not think that all police officers act against the law,” Naicker said.

“These cases should be treated exactly as civilian cases would be treated – there is no special treatment for police.”

At least 830 law enforcement officers were under investigation by the ICD for crimes including rape, attempted murder, assault, murder.

Not all these cases happen in the line of duty.

Of these, about 74 policemen have cases of attempted murder pending against them.

Naicker said he was positive that those cases would not lead to conviction.

About 351 police officers were under investigation for failing to carry out their duties.

According to the ICD statistics, 16 police officers have had domestic violence cases laid against them by their family members.

Other crimes against police officers include the death of suspects while in police custody. Provincial ICD spokesman Tabiso Ralo said about 174 officers were being scrutinised for death in police custody.