Mzoli helping ANC campaign through jobs at Gugs Mall

5 11 2008
Gugulethu AEC Press Statement
November 5, 2008

On Thursday November 6, 2008 at about 7:00am, Gugulethu residents will again protest the construction of the new Gugulethu Mall.

Local investor in the development, Mzoli Ngcawuzele, is giving local ANC ward councillors Andile Matshikiza and Belinda Landingwe the authority choose which residents will get jobs on the site.

We reject the politicisation of job meant for poor residents.  We will not allow ANC ward councillors to use the availability of jobs to campaign and by votes.  We will attempt to close down the mall on Thursday demanding that Mzoli increases the amount of local jobs being offered and puts the distribution of jobs outside the hands of the political parties.

For comment, call Mncedisi at 078 5808 646

Click here for other information on the Gugulethu Mall, Mzoli, and his attempts to intimidate residents

Media: Motion of no confidence called in Drakenstein

23 10 2008
AEC Quoted at the end of article on their ‘No Land! No House! No Vote!’ policy.
Aziz Hartley
October 23 2008 at 07:41AM
Source: Cape Times

A former community safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane joined the hundreds of people who have given up their ANC membership, more members are expected to leave the party this weekend while it is expected to lose its control of the Drakenstein Municipality. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Employ local people, say protesters

17 10 2008

17 October 2008
Anna Majavu

Source: Sowetan

Scores of protesters yesterday disrupted work at the construction site of the R350million “Guguletu Square” mall, demanding that the developers employ local residents. Read the rest of this entry »

AbM Note: Irene Grootboom

10 09 2008

Abahlali baseMjondolo supports the struggle of Irene Grootboom who passed away last month and who won a landmark constitutional case on housing against the government.  After she had already died, the provincial government decided to hand over a house to the Grootboom family.  This action by government is not based on the fact that they respect the outcomes of the constitutional court but is a political ploy to pretend they care about the plight of families like the Grootbooms.  As we all know,  early next year will be the national elections and Lynne Brown, the new Western Province Premier, wants to use the injustice that befell Irene as a tool for promoting her party in time for the elections.

For Lynne Brown’s opportunistic address to the Wallacedene Community, click here.

ABM Western Cape
Contact: 073 2562 036

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Petition for the Release of Jerome Daniels and Riedwaan Isaacs

16 07 2008

The Anti-Eviction Campaign is demanding the release of two AEC activists, Jerome Daniels and Riedwaan Isaacs, who have been sentenced to 12 months in prison for their political activism in Delft.  In his statement, Magistrate Van Graan ‘argued that he needed to hold the defendants responsible and teach the Anti-Eviction Campaign a lesson’.

Please help Jerome, Reidwaan, their families and the entire Delft-Symphony community!

For the entire AEC press release, click here.

For comment, please call Ashraf at 076-186-1408 or Auntie Jane at 078-403-1302.

Secret Joe Slovo rezoning plans

13 07 2008
Source: Mail & Guardian

Western Cape housing minister Richard Dyantyi has applied to rezone land occupied by the Joe Slovo informal settlement, even as the Constitutional Court prepares to hear a plea from residents to set aside their court-ordered eviction. Read the rest of this entry »

Taxes down the drain

11 07 2008

It’s winter, the rainy season in Cape Town, which means that thousands of shack dwellers’ homes have been flooded, again.

And as the water subsides the displaced folk will be out hammering up new makeshift shelters for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Symphony Way residents are convicted for their political activism

3 07 2008

Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Friday, 4th July, 2008

Delft-Symphony — On Wednesday, July 2nd at the Bellville Magistrates Court courtroom E, two members of the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign, Jerome Daniels and Riedwaan Isaacs, were each sentenced twelve months in prison – simply for being community leaders at Delft-Symphony Way settlement. Both maintained their innocence on charges of malicious destruction of property brought by Elmory Isaacs, a former resident of the same settlement, who presented no evidence beyond her own testimony.

During a two hour trial in which the activities of the Anti-Eviction Campaign featured prominently, Ms Isaacs testified that these two community leaders had threatened her with knives of and slashed her tent. Under cross examination, Ms Isaacs conceded that all the evicted occupants of the Delft Symphony N2 Gateway homes had begun their pavement encampment by agreeing as a group to remove any resident who threatened or attacked another. Moreover, she also acknowledged that on the evening in question an individual she had allowed to live in her tent unsupervised had violently threatened another community member. However, she became agitated when asked questions about whether these threats violated this agreement, shouting “this is not about Johnny. This is about my tent, my property.” Without presenting any evidence or calling any other witnesses, the prosecution rested its case.

During his testimony, Mr. Daniels, explained that he had verbally intervened to prevent the occupant of Ms Isaac’s tent from making good on his threats. But when residents of Symphony Way learned of what had occurred, the community decided to remove this person from the settlement to prevent any future violence from occurring. He insisted that rather than taking part in taking down her tent, he had sought to prevent residents from taking such drastic action.

For his part, Riedwaan Isaacs testified that he had not been in that part of the Symphony Way section when community members dismantled Ms Isaac’s tent. It was only later that night that he learned of what had occurred. Another resident of the Symphony Way settlement, Mrs. Evelyn Mokoena, corroborated the testimony of both Mr Isaacs and Mr Daniels. She stated that dozens of community members took the decision to dismantle the tent and took action over the objections of Mr Daniels. Mr Isaacs, she insisted, was not there.

During the course of this testimony, Magistrate Van Graan from Court E, repeatedly interrupted the defence and prosecution attorneys to question defendants about their involvement in the Anti-Eviction Campaign. When Mrs Evelyn Mokoena responded that it was the community that was responsible for making the decision to dismantle the tent, he interjected, “I can’t understand under what circumstances does the community take a decision?” When Mrs Mokoena explained that in the informal settlement the community is responsible for making its own decisions, Magistrate Van Graan responded, “Is this what is happening in this country? Is this thing justifiable?”

In closing, the defendants’ attorney reiterated that the preceding testimony had proven that neither defendant had touched Ms Daniel’s property, with each witness corroborating the other. After a five minute recess, Magistrate Van Graan delivered a guilty verdict, quoting case law that justified his dismissal of the defence’s testimony and only accepting that of Ms Isaacs. He explained that while he could not sentence the community, some one had to take responsibility for this offence. In response, the defence attorney recommended a warning, noting that both defendants had children and were currently volunteered their time supporting the residents of Symphony Way. The prosecutor, in response suggested a fine but did not suggest any jail-time for the defendants. However Magistrate Van Graan imposed a twelve month sentence at Goodwood Prison, with a possibility of a six month suspension for good behaviour. While he acknowledged that this charge was not as serious as a murder or rape conviction, he argued that he needed to hold the defendants responsible and teach the Anti-Eviction Campaign a lesson.

Upon hearing of this verdict, the residents of Symphony Way condemned it as unjust and called upon all struggling communities to support them in their effort in seeking the release of Mr. Daniels and Mr. Isaacs before the end of the month. “There are murderers and rapist walking around,” asked Mrs Mokoena. “Why aren’t they locking them up for twelve months?” Symphony Way resident Francis Jantjies objected to the verdict: “it seems like the justice system in South Africa is not right. Who did the investigation in this case? How are these two being sent to prison for something that the community did?”

Residents of the AEC settlement in Symphony Way believe that Mr Isaacs and Mr. Daniels are political prisoners who are being convicted of something they did not do merely because they are dedicated activists fighting for better lives for their families and community

The Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign is now seeking to raise R7 000 towards an appeal of these convictions. They are also accepting donations to go to the families of Mr. Daniels and Isaacs. The prisoners also desperately need money to by necessities in the prison: socks, underwear, deodorant, razors, telkom cards, etc.

Individuals, communities, and social movements that would like to assist in their fundraising efforts, in showing solidarity towards the defendants and their families, and/or help with future actions, should contact Auntie Jane at 078-403-1302 and Ashraf at 076-186-1408.

For information on how to donate, please visit:

Ridwaan Isaacs with his wife outside their home

Riedwaan Isaacs with his wife outside their home

Jerome Daniels doing his dishes

Jerome Daniels doing his dishes

Press Release: Pavement Dwellers hold government responsible for hit-and-run

29 06 2008

Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
28 June, 2008

Delft-Symphony – At 4 pm on Saturday 28th of June, 8 year old Charl Jacobs was hit from behind and knocked over by a drunk driver speeding down Symphony Way. Renee, a qualified nurse, and Vicky, a first aid assistant (who both live on the road), kept pressure on Charl’s head wound – keeping him conscious until the ambulance eventually arrived.

For months, the Pavement Dwellers of Delft-Symphony Way (who were violently evicted in February) have been emphasizing the danger of speeding vehicles such as taxis, trucks, ordinary cars, government vehicles and even aggressive police cars who insist on using Symphony Way as a shortcut to their destinations. This road is supposed to be closed to traffic because of the thousands of homeless people currently living on the road. This problem has been raised at all meetings of residents with the traffic department, government officials, and directly to MEC Richard Dyantyi. In fact, for months, city officials have promised that action would be taken to close the road.

But because officials fail to keep their promises, residents have attempted to take matters into their own hands by calling on drivers to slow down, partially barricading the roads, setting up makeshift boom gates, and finally, as a last resort, closing the road completely with burning tires. On Thursday, yet another city official promised to set up proper barricades by 4pm the day before the incident (the 27th of June). This, as with other commitments by officials, never materialized.

According to Renee, “Charl was running off to the store and the car hit him from behind. Thats when I shouted: He’s getting away!”. Rather than stopping after hitting the boy, Mr Xolile continued speeding down Symphony Way. When residents caught him at the corner of Modderdam and Stellenbosch Arterial, he was clearly intoxicated. Residents brought him back to the scene of the crime where police took him and a passenger into custody.

Thousands of angry Pavement Dwellers are holding the South African government directly responsible for this easily preventable accident. While residents, who are struggling to survive in the freezing cold weather, live directly across from empty houses that were meant for them, this tragedy is proof once again that no one in government actually cares about the safety and basic needs of the poor pavement dwellers.

The Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign is now looking into the feasibility of suing government for their inaction which has resulted in the near death of Charl and suffering of thousands who have, for years, been on the waiting list for houses.

For comment, please contact Ashraf at 072-503-6625

Residents hold government responsible Residents hold goverment responsible

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Update: Charl Jacobs’ father went to the police station today and has found out that the drunk driver, Mr Xolile, has not been charged for his crime.  The police seem to have just let him go.

We are not all like that: the monster bares its fangs

12 06 2008

by Andile Mngxitama

The sms’s came fast and furious. As furious as the fiery images we were subjected to by our television and our daily newspapers. The front pages are a festival of beastly pictures of the victims of the negrophobic blood letting which has gripped South Africa in the past weeks. I dreaded opening a newspaper for days – afraid of being confronted by yet another grisly product of the negrophobic xenophobic violence, which by the end of week three had claimed the lives of about one hundred people and displaced about 100 000, according to some estimates. The mind spins out of the axis of the normal.

As the Alexander township burnt, I was reading text messages from my cappuccino-loving Tito Mboweni-fearing middle class friends. The messages were generally along these lines; “I’m so embarrassed to be South African right now”, or more engaging: “I’m so tired of feeling angry about this and not being able to do something about it…” . Email lists held similar messages of shame; at least Winnie Madikizela-Mandela went to Alexander and told the terrified victims cramped at the police station; “We are sorry, please forgive us. South Africans are not like this”, before hopping back into her nice car and driving back to her life. Desmond Tutu, our beloved archbishop of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) followed with another “sorry, we are not like that”. The leader of the narrow Zulu nationalist movement, Dr Gatsha Buthelezi, went to the police station as well and cried for the cameras, at the same time as his followers from the hostel he had just addressed continued their war cry that they would kill all the “foreigners”, Hambani! Of course our president in waiting, Mr Jacob Zuma, was also told by an angry crowd, “go back to Mozambique with your Mozambiquens”. Apparently his favourite solo “Mshini wam” is sung by the marauding gangs as they go about their murderous deeds. The killings, burning and looting continued. Something has definitely broken, the despised are telling their leaders in their faces that they must all go to hell. Read the rest of this entry »


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