August 11, 2010
How’s this for life in Pretoria? A squatter community is using a slimy, algae-filled pond to wash their clothes, the Sowetan newspaper reports:
Jacob van Gardeneren, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said: “The surrounding neighbourhoods used typical excuses to justify their involvement in these evictions – such as that the informal settlement hosts criminals. The reality is that this informal settlement hosts their gardeners, domestic workers and construction workers, who are often paid so poorly they cannot afford to travel home every day.”
[Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, is scheduled to stand trial on the charge of public violence on Tuesday 29 September 2009. The charge relates to a protest organised in opposition to state criminality against the Macassar Village Land Occupation. He has written this essay on 'public violence' in response to the charges levelled against him.]
by Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape
What exactly is public violence? Who really counts as the public? What really counts as violence? These are important questions that require clear arguments.
I have seen many comrades in our movements arrested and charged with public violence for engaging in legal and peaceful protests. I have also seen the state engaging in illegal and violent actions, such as evictions and assaults on comrades, without anyone being arrested.
KHAYELITSHA, CAPE TOWN, 17 SEPTEMBER 2005 – Decent Housing For All – Now!
The mass rally to demand housing for all that kicked off on the 17 September revealed mainly two things: the amount of anger and frustration over present housing policies, and the need to seriously start planning a concrete way forward.
Around 1 000 people from townships and squatter camps from around Cape Town came to the Oliver Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha to discuss the local elections, the problems they face in their communities, and to adopt a way forward. The Anti-Eviction Campaign from several communities where there, as were the Anti-Privatisation Forum, the Treatment Action Campaign, the Vrygrond Action Committee and many others.
Starting with report-backs from the various organisations, it was clear that there is much to fight for. Speaker after speaker described poor housing quality, evictions, the indignity of the bucket system, corruption in the delivery of houses and services, and the anger with elected councillors. No housing – no vote! was a common slogan from the platform, as was the vow to continue the struggle.
CAPE TOWN, JULY 2005 – The Cape Town collective of Indymedia South Africa has made a ‘video newsletter’ about recent housing struggles in the city. This 35 minute production features footage of recent housing protests and interviews with community activists from Vrygrond, Delft, QQ section and Kwezi Park talking about housing issues and current issues. It is produced in order to give activists from elsewhere insight into the current struggles in Cape Town.
The video is available for download from the Indymedia Video Distribution Network (500 mb download https://video.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/138.shtml) or v2v http://www.v2v.cc/ or you can contact Indymedia South Africa (Cape Town) on to find out about getting a copy. The soundtrack is also available (on http://sa.indymedia.org/uploads/nohousenovote_soundtrack.mp3) for potential radio use. At present we do not have our own video camera (Ella and Ali kindly helped us out in making this film) but we look forward to seeing more ‘video documentaries’ from Cape Town and elsewhere.
Direct action at the Johannesburg High Court forces judge to issue a decision: No case for an eviction order. But the judge bowed to the developers by allowing the proceedings to move to oral testimony from witnesses.
Dozens of children from Wynberg took a day off from school today [Friday April 29, 2005] so that they could join their parents at the Johannesburg High Court. Having rejected the developers’ patronizing attempt to buy them off with R500,000 ($85/person), the residents arrived at court early this morning expecting the judge to announce whether or not he had decided to evict the Wynberg residents from their homes. They were let down when the judge phoned their attorney and told him that there would be no decision today.
The residents refused to accept another postponement. Led by the children, they filed into the empty courtroom and sat patiently waiting for the judge to appear. More than once, the judge’s assistant opened the door to the courtroom and glanced around before disappearing again. After less than half an hour, the sit-in produced results. The judge’s assistant informed the residents’ attorney that the judge had changed his mind and agreed to announce his decision later in the day.
| Victory for Campaign as Delft South evictions (ZA) and auctions stopped!
source & more information: http://southafrica.indymedia.org
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) is delighted to announce that all evictions and auctioning off of RDP houses in Delft South are to be stopped. This agreement was reached in a meeting between the Anti-Eviction Campaign yesterday with Cape Town UniCity Manager Robert Maydon and Interim Income and Debt Manager, George van Schalkwyk.
“George van Schalkwyk claimed that he did not fully understand the plight of the poverty stricken residents of Delft before the meeting, and that now he would ensure that the auctions which were to go ahead tomorrow and next month would be stopped,” said Anti-Eviction Campaign Co-ordinator Ishmael Petersen. The 47 auctions due to go ahead in March have also been stopped.
The AEC complained that final notices were being issued for amounts as low as R234.23 (Mrs Z V Nongawuza, 15 Henze St, Delft South). “This is unjust administrative action. By the admission of George van Schalkwyk, City Interim Debt Manager, there are businesses who owe over R100 000 who are not being disconnected,” said AEC negotiator Ishmael Petersen.
The AEC also complained that the Unicity was governing in a very chaotic manner. “For example, Mrs F.G. Genu of 21 Jacaranda Street has services arrears of R1746.87 yet the arrangement to pay off these arrears is R0.00. In other words Mrs Genu must pay the full amount. Miss Lufuta, her neighbour at 23 Jacaranda Street is allowed to pay off R130.54 per month on her total arrears of R879.98. Her neighbour at 25 Jacaranda Street has total arrears of R1254.77 and is being asked to pay off R564.93. This is almost half of the total amount, which is unrealistic. Note that all the letters say the arrangements (which are all different) are being made in terms of the recently adopted Indigent Policy. This is a policy of chaos and anti-equity,” said Peter
| Southern African leaders have come out strongly in support of Mugabe’s controversial land reform program
SADC leaders back Zim land grabs
OWN CORRESPONDENT AND REUTERS, Windhoek | Tuesday
SOUTHERN African leaders have come out strongly in support of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reform program, saying Britain should “honour its obligations” and provide resources for land reform in the embattled country. Ending two-day talks on the region’s simmering conflicts and tepid economic growth, the leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) called on rich nations to write off foreign debt and expressed concern over unending civil wars in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Slamming threatened US sanctions on Zimbabwe as ?punitive and unjust?, the SADC heads declared that the policy ?seeks to effect a just and equitable redistribution of land in a situation where 1% of the population owns over 70% of the best arable land.’ ‘We are disappointed by the partisan and biased manner in which a sector of the international media has misrepresented the land policy of the government of Zimbabwe,” they said in a statement. ?We reiterate our acceptance of the urgent need to effect land redistribution in Zimbabwe to address land hunger and poverty affecting millions of black Zimbabweans,” it added. The SADC leaders said they had appointed Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Bakili Muluzi of Malawi to make representations to the British government on SADC’s behalf for London to finance the land reform. The presidents also broke the silence on the killer disease AIDS and pledged to pool resources to fight the epidemic which poses the most serious threat to the security, stability and future of the SADC region. Around 11 million of SADC’s 190 million population are infected with HIV/AIDS, statistics show, and the figure is rising. The heads of state also called a meeting in Lusaka on August 14 to discuss the war in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC President Laurent Kabila stayed away from the summit amid efforts to persuade him to be more flexible in peace moves, but the communique declared that “the DRC peace process is still on track despite a number of setbacks.” The leaders also took a strong stand against Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, with the summit’s final communique expressing concern at his “armed and criminal actions against the civilian population and the destruction of social and economic infrastructure.”
ZA*NOW: Background Background on SADC trade Full Zimbabwe archive: http://www.mg.co.za/mg/africa_archive/zimbabwe_archive.html
on squat.net: http://squat.net/nl/news/zimbabwe010700.html