14 April 2019

South Africa: Keep Politics Out of District Six, Say Claimants As They Head to Court This Week


The outstanding land claims and restitution for people forced out of District Six by apartheid laws should not be used for political gains, said the mostly elderly claimants who gathered on Sunday afternoon in Cape Town before a court case this week involving Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Read earlier in Daily Maverick: District Six residents ask court to force government to admit it failed them.

"District Six is not aligned to any political party -- let me make that clear," said Shahied Ajam on Sunday morning, as about 300 claimants and former residents of District Six gathered in Cape Town to discuss plans for a court case this week involving Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform.

At the beginning of Sunday's meeting, Ajam, who is the chairperson of the District Six Working Committee, spoke about political parties using the real displacement issues of the apartheid-era District Six removals as a campaign issue for the 8 May elections.

"We cannot be bought or sold," said Ajam.

The committee is advocating for former residents evicted under apartheid's Group Areas Act to be moved back urgently -- within their lifetimes.

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