De Lille is arrogant, say backyarders

8 09 2011

GROUPS representing backyard dwellers have lashed out at Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, labelling her “arrogant and underestimating poor people”, after she allegedly changed the venue for a meeting at the eleventh hour.

Sep 8, 2011 | Unathi Obose | Sowetan

The meeting, scheduled for Khayelitsha’s OR Tambo Hall, was apparently moved to Cape Town’s Civic Centre.

“We feel the change of venue was an insult to us. People are desperate to talk to the mayor and explain their grievances,” said Abahlali BaseMjondolo’s Mzonke Poni.

“Last time we protested we barricaded roads and properties were damaged because the protest was hijacked by criminals. We want disadvantaged people to be the city’s equal and respected partners.”

Mitchell’s Plain Khoisan Customary Council member Colin Graham asked: “Why does De Lille only respect us only when it’s election time and completely ignores us after that?”

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign chairperson Mncedisi Twalo accused the city of undermining poor people and caring for the rich only. “We are going to chase councillors out of our communities. We’ll tell them to go and stay with the DA government.”

De Lille’s spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, dismissed the community’s allegations.

Malatsi said: “We were alerted of possible disruption of the meeting if it took place at OR Tambo Hall. In light of this, we changed the venue to the Council Chambers in the civic centre. All organisations that were invited confirmed their attendance. We provided transport for all of them.”

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