South Africa: Another Political Eviction in Sisonke Village

By Abahlali BaseMjondolo, Pambazuka News

Armed ANC members acting with police support now openly attack people struggling against corruption and for land in Cato Crest. They are even hiring assassins

On Sunday 28 September 2014 the ANC Ward 74 councillor Nolubabalo Mthembu called an ANC meeting to discuss ways of replacing the Land Invasion Unit with an ANC demolition team. This meeting took place at the Lamontville Community hall in the afternoon at around 1pm. The Task Team Committee was launched to carry out the illegal eviction of the nearby Sisonke settlement. Sisonke Village, formerly known as Madlala Village, made headlines early this year when they approached the Constitutional Court after they had been subjected to more than 24 illegal evictions.

The Constitutional court found that the Eviction Order obtained by the Member of the Executive Council, Ravi Pillay, was invalid as it was made in breach of the Constitution. The court also found that the eThekwini Municipality [one of the 11 districts of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, covering the City of Durban and surrounding towns] had lied to the Court and referred the matter back to Durban High Court. We are still waiting for the High Court to make a ruling on the matter. It is clear that replacing the Land Invasions Unit with ANC members is a tactic to avoid legal accountability for evictions. We saw a similar strategy at the Marikana Land Occupation in Cato Crest on Friday 26 September when ANC members began demolishing shacks. They also attacked one of our members with a spade.

In 2009 repression by the police was replaced with repression by armed ANC members acting with police support. Last year Willies Mchunu openly called for ANC members to act directly against people struggling against corruption and for land in Cato Crest. Since last year izinkabi (assassins) have also been used to repress us.

Yesterday, while we were busy with the family of Thuli Ndlovu, our comrade slain in KwaNdengezi, the Land Invasion Unit accompanied by the local ANC evicted about 30 families in Sisonke Village. As always, there was no court order authorising this eviction thus making the eviction criminal and unlawful. The local ANC claim that this piece of land is reserved only for the ANC members. This encourages communities to fight. This is also the case in Cato Crest where ANC members are told that the land that has been occupied by the Marikana Land Occupation is reserved for the grandchildren of the ANC members living in the area.

It is clear to us that the ANC has issued an order to its members to engage in a politic of creating war within communities. They have not succeeded in destroying our movement or our struggle with the police and they continually loose in the courts. Despite various dirty tricks, and serious repression, our movement remains strong. They are now mobilizing their members to attack us directly. This is what the apartheid regime did to the progressive movement in the 1980s. Today the Municipality is shifting its dirty duty to ANC communities.

The politic of violence must stop. The use of assassins and the mobilization of armed party members against our movement must stop.

The situation in Durban is now very serious. We are evicted, beaten and killed without any consequence. Today there is no democracy for the poor in this city. If this is not challenged tomorrow there will be no democracy for anybody in this city. If the politic of war is not challenged in Durban it will come to other parts of the country too.

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