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South Africa: The Elections Are Over – The War on the Poor Continues

category southern africa | community struggles | non-anarchist press author Tuesday May 19, 2009 22:47author by Abahlali baseMjondolo - AbMauthor email abahlalibasemjondolo at telkomsa dot net Report this post to the editors

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement, Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Four Shot in Siyanda with Rubber Bullets, Illegal Demolitions in Mpola, Professor Martin Legassick Arrested in Macassar Village, Mzonke Poni on the Run, Others Arrested and Shot at with Rubber Bullets

Siyanda: More Illegal Evictions, Rumours of More Forced Removals and More Police Violence

Four people were shot with rubber bullets at close range after the police attacked protestors in C – Section of Siyanda, Durban, this morning. The four people are all in hospital. The doctors say that one person is very badly injured.

The protest was aimed at halting construction of houses in the notoriously corrupt Khalula Housing Project. The C-Section community took the decision to halt the construction in protest against the ongoing unlawful demolition of people’s homes and rumours that people from C-Section will be forcibly removed to amatins (also known as government shacks or transit camps) in Red Hill.

All requests by the community for clear information and negotiation have been refused. After lots of pressure municipal official Bongi Hlengwa eventually agreed to meet the community to discuss their concerns about unlawful demolitions and the rumours of more forced removals at 3:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. However he cancelled the meeting without explanation following which the decision to stop construction was taken.

More information on the crisis in Siyanda contact Mama Kayiyaki 074 299 2898, Magama Makhanyi 074 756 6348 or Mama Nxumalo 076 579 6198

Mpola: Illegal Evictions

Four shacks were illegally demolished in Mpola, Marianhill (near Pinetown), this morning. The Municipality is knocking down shacks to build houses – but the houses are being given to outsiders. There is no consultation. There is no court order for these demolitions and they are, therefore, like the demolitions in Siyanda, illegal and criminal acts.

More information on the crisis in Mpola contact Lindiwe Ndlovu 078 994 0700

Macassar Village: Demolitions, Arrests and Shootings

Backyward dwellers occupied vacant government land in Macassar Village last night after being forced out of their backyard shacks due to extremely high and exploitative rents. Early this morning the police arrived in very large numbers to attack the occupation. While a meeting was being held to inform the new community that any police attack on it would be completely illegal the police went ahead and attacked the people.

One lady and her baby have been shot with rubber bullets. Three people have been arrested. So far we only have the name of one them - Professor Martin Legassick was arrested while taking pictures. The police are currently doing a door to door search in the area looking for Mzonke Poni.

More information on the crisis in Macassar Village contact Mzonke Poni 073 256 2036.

Update: Professor Martin Legassick is currently being released. No word yet on the two other people who were arrested

Now that the election is over and the politicians have finished hunting for positions they are running away from the people. It is impossible for a poor community to get a meeting with a politician. They only send in the police to break the people's homes and to beat and shoot and arrest the people. This is the reality of our so called democracy. This is what development really looks like – people’s houses broken down, people shot with rubber bullets, people in jail, people on the run.

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