South Africa: Khayelitsha Residents Pushed Out of Homes and Into Conflict With Law Enforcement

A police officer adjusts a colleague’s mask (file photo).

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As the second week of the lockdown came to an end, some residents of Khayelitsha were pushed from their homes onto the streets as they couldn't afford rent. The lockdown has shut off their income.

A community leader, Ntembeko Moyeni, said some residents had moved onto vacant city-owned land in the past week because they could not afford to pay rent after losing their income because of the lockdown. Since Thursday 9 April the City of Cape Town has been trying to evict them by demolishing their shacks.

The Social Justice Coalition and other housing activist organisations have called out the demolitions as being in violation of lockdown rules concerning evictions. The City has argued this does not apply to illegal occupations and unoccupied shacks.

On Saturday 11 April, the head of the Social Justice Coalition, Axolile Notywala, was pepper-sprayed by a City of Cape Town law enforcement officer...

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