South Africa: Pain of Forced Removals Remembered As the Waiting Game Continues for District Six Claimants


District Six in Cape Town was declared a 'whites only' area on 11 February 53 years ago -- paving the way for a mixed community to be destroyed and forcing residents into areas on the Cape Flats -- where they still live, waiting for the day they can be moved back into their much-loved area. While there has been contestation and disagreement, it was agreed on Monday at a commemoration event that people needed to be moved back to the area to finally start a healing process, more than half a century later.

February 11 marks the anniversary of District Six -- a multicultural and multiracial community in the heart of Cape Town -- being declared a "whites only" area under the apartheid Group Areas Act. On Monday, which marked the 53rd anniversary of the proclamation, about 500 former residents and their families gathered at the Castle of Good Hope to commemorate this date.

Government officials put aside their political differences and spoke extensively of a healing process that was needed for those who were evicted from their homes and relocated to areas on the Cape Flats such as Mitchells Plain, Hanover Park, Manenberg and Langa.

On Monday, speakers relayed...

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