Category Archives: The Daily Maverick

Cato Crest: ‘We will stay…we have nowhere else to go’

‘We will stay…we have nowhere else to go’

On Sunday the eThekweni Municipality destroyed dozens of homes in Cato Crest, which it said had been built illegally on land earmarked for housing. RUMANA AKOOB, for Daily Vox, was there.

Durban’s shack dwellers live in constant fear. Evictions have become a common phenomenon in Durban and around the country.  On Sunday morning the eThekweni Municipality destroyed 48 informal dwellings in the Cato Crest settlement.

According to the 101 ward councillor, Nzimuni Ngiba, the municipality broke down these homes because their inhabitants were illegally occupying land that would be used for housing.

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Daily Maverick: Evictions: 0 out of 10, SANRAL – try again

Pierre de Vos

“The law is the law,” said Vusi Mona, spokesperson for SANRAL, on Tuesday when he attempted to justify the eviction of hundreds of people from their homes built on SANRAL land. Mona was invoking an interim interdict aimed at unspecified persons intending to occupy SANRAL land to justify the eviction.

The interdict purports to prohibit unspecified persons from unlawfully occupying the land, building structures on the land and inhabiting those structures. It also authorises SANRAL, duly assisted by the SAPS, to remove people from the land, demolish their homes and remove their belongings from the land.

However, the interdict clearly excludes from its ambit those who had already occupied land and were already living in structures on the land at the time that the interdict was granted.

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Daily Maverick: Abahlali’s choice

Political identity is a strange thing. In the run-up to an election, we are asked – over and over again – to identify ourselves with political parties. We are asked to remember our histories and follow our family’s old allegiances. We are instructed to forget those histories, and face the future. We are expected to identify with the faces on political posters and see ourselves reflected in them. On 2 May, the shack-dwellers’ movement of South Africa, Abahlali baseMjondolo, endorsed the Democratic Alliance in this week’s upcoming provincial elections. A storm of controversy has erupted. By JULIAN BROWN.

A large percentage of South Africans are unconvinced by this, of course. The major parties seem bankrupt, devoid of new ideas. Their claims on our identities are absurd and overblown. For many of us, the choice between parties is no choice at all: it is just a matter of preferring one tone of voice, one temperament, one set of berets, and one set of unconvincing promises over another.

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Daily Maverick: City of Cape Town: protecting private property at the expense of shack-dwellers

by Jared Sacks, Daily Maverick

The City of Cape Town was embroiled in controversy earlier this year when it emerged that they were fabricating a law – the so-called Protection of the Possession of Property Act – to justify the violent eviction of shack-dwellers from a land occupation dubbed ‘Marikana’ by its residents.

Now, it seems that the City is still lying – this time claiming that the land from which they have been evicting Marikana residents is City-owned when in fact it is privately owned. The City's Anti-Land Invasion Unit (ALIU) has now demolished these residents’ homes well over a dozen times since 28 April, but the City continues to claim that they are protecting their own land from being occupied.

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Freedom is Not Real if People Don’t Feel Free

Update: A shorter version of this article has been published in the Sunday Tribune and the Daily Maverick.

Freedom is Not Real if People Don't Feel Free

Lindela 'Mashumi' Figlan*

How can you declare from above that people are free from while they themselves talk from below of feeling unfree?

It is true that freedom comes with so many responsibilities. There are responsibilities from above and from below. Freedom is not just about expressing yourself as happy or not happy. There is no real freedom without justice, equality and democracy. Justice, equality and democracy require that people respect each other's dignity and that society is organised around people's dignity. If we were really free every citizen would feel part and parcel of a country that respected their dignity. They would experience this dignity at work, at home and in all the discussions about the future of each community and the country. They would be able to organise and to express their views in safety. Continue reading