23 Mandela Park Backyarders Arrested Now

20 09 2009

Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
on Behalf of Mandela Park Backyarders
15h00 on 20 Semptember, 2009

23 Mandela Park Backyard Community Members have been arrested and are currently being held in a waiting cell in the Harare Police Station in Khayelitsha on wrongful assumptions by the police. Protests have occurred based on the false promise of housing by Minister Madikizele.

Community members were very upset with the report from the embassy of housing Madikizele who promised them 23 housing units in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha. At a meeting on the 16th of September, the department of housing minister, Madikizele, retracted his previous promise. He manipulated the community by claiming they misunderstood the previous promise to houses. When the community members went back to give the report to the community, the community got upset and said that no one should benefit from houses if they are not going to be democratically allocated and if the minister is going to lie. The community proceeded in protest and the houses were vandalised starting yesterday, September 19th. The community members tried to explain to the police what was happening and no one was injured during the process.

This morning, September 20th, residents of Khayelitsha were attending a gathering organised by Helen Zille in Mandela Park near the court. Zille was in attendance to address the KDF (Khayelitsha Development Forum). The same housing protestors from yesterday came to the hall to speak to Zille and draw her attention to what happened in Mandela Park. She ignored this and claimed she does not know what is happening in Mandela Park. Zille then vanished and never spoke to the people about their concerns after they invited her to see what was happening. Some people retaliated and protested against another house.

A separate group of Backyarder community members (those now being held at the Harare Police Station) were having a meeting to plan about delegates who would go to the radio station to report on the lies being told by the housing minister. The meeting was supposed to be at a church, but it was occupied. At this point in time the backyarders organised in an open field. Police proceeded to the open field and arrested the members claiming that some people saw them attacking the houses. These community members were not the ones vandalizing houses and were arrested on false assumptions made by the police. They cooperated with the police and got into the vans and now they are in the waiting cell. Currently the community members who are in the waiting cell at Harare Station are in need of legal advice as they were wrongfully arrested. At the moment the police are treating them okay. Protestors are currently outside of the police station protesting for the rights of the backyard community members. The police are claiming that the community must speak to housing minister Madikizele directly.

Backyard Community Members are asking for any legal advice to help them with the current situation. The housing minister has lied and they are only protesting for proper rights to housing.

Contact Loyiso before his telephone is confiscated:

083 270 2000 or 073 766 2078

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3 responses

21 09 2009
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign

[...] This morning 23 Mandela Park activists were arrested on their way to speak at a local radio station after Helen Zille refused to address their anger at Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela for lying to residents (see previous press statement for details). [...]

23 09 2009

I am one of the khayelitsha backyarders and I believe that the leaders of that community ( the councillor and the minister) are misleading the people by prioritising thier political affilitians before service delivery to the people.

Minister madikizela must stop thinking that people are idiots just because he occupies a prominent post in government, he met with us ( the Backyarders and abakhabi) and agreed to solve the problems and outlined how he would do,
yet again he went to our community radio and said otherwise ( two face). It was a disgrace to see to government leaders acting like 2yr old in a public gathering instead of working together in making the president and the people happy.

We understand that there is corruption ruling our goervnment and not that we do not acknowledge that but God help us we won’t sit and watch a cat fight between edults. I ask the minister of Human settlement honourable Sexwale to intervene in this matter.


concerned person

20 06 2010
The ‘Mandela Park 23′ to appear in Khayelitsha Magistrates court tomorrow at 9am | The Mandela Park Backyarders

[...] This morning 23 Mandela Park activists were arrested on their way to speak at a local radio station after Helen Zille refused to address their anger at Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela for lying to residents (see previous press statement for details). [...]


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