South Africa: Violent Evictions in Cato Manor and Chesterville

press release

Yesterday at about 10:15, while we were hosting a vibrant and very interesting political education meeting in central Durban, the Land Invasion Unit, the Metro Police, the Public Order Police and private security attacked the Azanian occupation in Cato Manor. Around 60 homes were destroyed. The ward councillor was present during the attack.

There have been repeated attacks on this occupation since February, when the land was first occupied. One person was recently discharged after being hospitalised for two months as a result of injuries sustained from the Land Invasion Unit during an eviction. The comrades rebuilt last night, working through the night and in the rain.

Today the Ridgeview settlement in Chesterville, which has been there since 2006, was attacked by the Land Invasions Unit and municipal security. A number of comrades were shot with rubber bullets. More than forty homes were demolished before the eviction was stopped after comrades organised and resisted. The comrades who lost their homes will rebuild.

In both cases the Municipality did not have a court order and so both evictions were illegal and criminal acts.

The Azania occupation is in Ward 29 and the councillor is Mveli Mthembu. The Ridgeview settlement is in Ward 24 and the councillor is Sifiso Mngadi. They are both ANC councillors. Those who choose to vote for the ANC in the recent election should consider the wisdom of their choice carefully as the ruling party continues to oppress the poor.

This weekend we will be launching a new branch and holding political education workshops in four settlements in Gauteng. Tensions are still running in high in Vusimuzi, in Tembisa, where reblocking has turned into evictions, and xenophobia, perpetrated by supporters of the local ANC councillor with brazen collusion between the local police and the councillor.

Everywhere impoverished people remain beneath the law while our oppressors in ruling party and the government remain above the law.

The struggle continues.

Occupy. Resist. Develop.

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