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Recent articles by Woodstock Anti-Eviction Campaign
Recent Articles about Southern Africa Community struggles
In South Africa: No Money, No Justice
southern africa | community struggles | non-anarchist press Wednesday March 25, 2009 14:43 by Woodstock Anti-Eviction Campaign - AEC aec at antieviction dot org dot za
Woodstock Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
In South Africa, if you are poor your right to justice through the legal system is often denied. If you don't have money for lawyers its hard to get justice. Therefore, the law is for the rich because they have ample money to buy 'justice'. Landlords who have money can afford to try and evict people continuously by accessing the courts and paying the best lawyers to throw people out of their houses. In South Africa, communities don't have money to continuously go to court to fight for, what should be, their basic rights. In the legal system, you are discriminated against if you are poor.
Take the example of Gympie Street. The landlord has taken the residents of Gympie Street to court over and over in order to evict them. This seems to be a strategy to drain the community of resources, so that in the end they won't have any money to pay for lawyers and gain access to the courts and resist anymore. Indeed, the people of Gympie Street have already spent more than R 45 000 on legal costs. This is outrageous considering that the people of Gympie Street are already poor. The legal costs of Gympie Street also show no sign of slowing. The landlord has now taken two houses in the Street to court again. Each household now has to come up with R 8 000 each for legal costs in order to defend their right to decent housing. This is going to be very difficult considering these households are impoverished. Obviously, targeting these two households alone is a tactic by the landlord to divide the community and place the financial burden of the legal costs onto these two families. No doubt the landlord plans to use this tactic to pick each household off one by one. In the end, the landlord wants every household to be drained of the little resources that they have, so he can kick them out of their houses.