South Africa: Vicious Evictions Continue in eKhenana

press release

On Wednesday afternoon the Anti Land Invasion Unit waged a brutal attack on the eKhanana land occupation in Cato Crest. More than 35 homes were demolished and burnt by these thugs.

The attack yesterday happened despite the matter being before the court. On 27 December last year we approached the High Court for an urgent interdict against the repeated attacks on the eKhanana occupation. The lawyers for the Municipality asked the court for time to prepare their answering affidavit. The court specifically stated that there should be no further evictions until the matter had been resolved. These evictions were therefore in violation of both the law and the specific instruction of the court.

The eThekwini Municipality and its Anti Land Invasion Unit do not regard people who are living in shacks as human beings. They see us being beneath the law.

Yesterday we saw that Msawakhe Mayisela, the spokesperson for the City, has told the media that there is a ‘third force’ behind what they call land invasions and we call land occupations.

They have been calling our movement the ‘third force’ since 2005. This language is used to evict us from democracy and to prepare the public for violence against us, including murder.

Land occupations are not a result of a foreign conspiracy. They are a result of the fact that millions of people are landless, and do not have access to the cities. They are a result of the fact that in almost 25 years in power the ANC has failed to address the land question in the cities, as well as in the rural areas.

One faction of the ANC claims to be the custodians of the Constitution which says that everyone has a right to housing, and that no one should be evicted without an order of the court. The other faction claims that it wants radical land reform. However we continue to be subject to illegal and violent attacks when we occupy land and advance land reform and realise our right to the cities from below.

It has become obvious that all the talk about land reform in this country is just a political campaign for the elections this year. The ANC has never been serious about land reform and they are not serious about it now.

We will make our own future. The struggle continues.

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