We are all Andries Tatane

21 04 2012
19 April 2012 – People against police brutality

What?           Interfaith Andries Tatane memorial ceremony, testimonial against police brutality, and march to Harare Police Station
When?          Sunday 22nd April 2012 at 12h30
Where?         Way of Life Church / Multi-purpose centre, Mandela Park, Khayelitsha
Directions?   Visit http://g.co/maps/ucmky or contact Moza @ 0791176943 / 0213672122

We are all Andries Tatane!

There is a little bit of Andries Tatane in each and every one of us.

As he fought for service delivery for his community in Ficksburg, we fight for toilets, electricity, houses and land here in Cape Town.

As he lived in the hellish township of Meqheleng, many of us are stuck in hell-like conditions in Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Delft and Manenberg.

As he was attacked, shot, beaten and ultimately killed by police for standing up for what he believed in, many of us are at times also attacked, shot, beaten and a few of us have even been killed at their hands. Read the rest of this entry »

Theft at Mandela Park Backyarders office and creche while death threats against backyarder members continue

9 03 2011
Backyarders Press Release
8 March 2011

At about 4.30am on Saturday morning 4 thieves were arrested by city police while pulling 3 wily bins full of groceries, cooking pots and office equipment including 2 computers and a printer.

They had broken into 2 offices in our Andile Nhose Community Hall. One was the Backyarder’s office and the other was an affiliate soup kitchen project for the elderly. They also went to break into children’s classrooms at our community creche where food and children’s belongings were stolen.

A theft and breaking and entering case was opened at Harare police station against the thieves.

We remind you that this is the same police station where a recent attempt murder case was opened against DA member and later changed into common assault due to interference by MEC for housing (Bonginkosi Madikizela). Read the rest of this entry »

A self-written history of Mandela Park: Kwanele Enough Is Genoeg

15 02 2011

Kwanele Enough Is Genoeg # 10: Mandela Park (Makhaya) 14-02-2011

Written by the Mandela Park Backyarders Movement

The following is a self-written history by our movement.  After a lot of deliberation with our members, we came up with this document as a way of explaining how we have come to say Kwanele!  Please use this document in order to better understand our struggle…

Some History

It is now 17 years since the first democratic government came into power, with a constitution that promises many freedoms in its declarations: What have been at the forefront of most people dreams when the new ANC government came into power was the famous quote “There shall be houses, security & comfort”. It is now years since we first voted and there is little change to show for that, besides five year voting ritual.

The story in Mandela Park (Makhaya) started in the late 1990’s, when the government’s new neo-liberal policies enabled companies to retrench workers in the name of rightsizing and many government departments out-sourced their responsibilities to private companies. They literally handed over the future of millions of workers to the hands of greedy employers and labour brokers. They also built up a strong layer of a Black capitalist class through Black Economic Empowerment. Read the rest of this entry »

Protest Against State Repression to be Held at at Macassar Village – Tomorrow

27 11 2009

Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape
Press Statement, Friday 27 November 2009

We will be holding a protest against state repression at New Road, Maccassar Village, from 11:00 on Saturday 28 November 2009.

Our movement is under serious attack in Durban. Our comrades in Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban have been attacked and had their homes destroyed by an armed ANC militia supported by the local police and politicians. They have also been arrested, denied bail, beaten while in custody and attacked and seriously beaten by the police while going about their ordinary activities in their communities. Many of our comrades are living under death threats and have been turned into refugees. Read the rest of this entry »

AbM: All Charges Dropped Against the Pemary 13, But Someone Needs to Answer for Police Attacks

18 11 2009

16 November, 20:42
Abahlali basePemary Ridge Press Statement

Abahlali basePemary Ridge is happy that all charges were dropped against 13 of our members, who were arrested in a brutal attack last Friday by the Sydenham police.

Abahlali has said, since 2005, “My lawyer is my neighbour.”  In court today, the Pemary 13 were not represented by a lawyer, but by the Chairperson of Abahlali baseMotala Heights , Shamita Naidoo, who learned about justice through years of experience working in her community, and about the law seeing case after political case brought by police against shack-dwellers.  Shamita spoke powerfully and with a lot of anger against the police violence so common in Abahlali communities, and in all shack settlements.  Read the rest of this entry »

Media: ‘Delivery protests are our right’

23 10 2009

By Ella Smook
Metro Writer – IOL

Groups representing impoverished Cape Town communities have lashed out at President Jacob Zuma’s warning that the government will not tolerate violent service delivery protests, and the accompanying destruction of property.

Representatives of the Joe Slovo task team, the Landless People’s Movement and Abahlali baseMjondolo defended these protests, saying they were the only way to get the government to pay attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Sexwale slams families protesting against government oppression and corruptipon

6 07 2009

AEC Note: Tokyo Sekwale, owner of a R56 million house, and a man who cited matchbox houses as one of his reasons for taking up arms against apartheid, declares protest against ‘housing’ far worse than apartheid’s matchbox houses to be ‘anarchy’ that will be met with ‘zero tolerance’….Also, see the Media Briefing below where Sexwale compares protesting families to armies of people holding bazookas….Also, now that Thubelisha and Trafalgar are gone, Joe Slovo Phase 1 will now be managed by the corrupt and problematic Cape Town Community Housing Company.

Sexwale warns unruly protesters

July 01 2009 at 10:45AM
By Gaye Davis

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has warned that the government will take tough action against people who want to render any part of the country ungovernable. Read the rest of this entry »

UK Media: Grassroots movements plan to boycott South African poll

20 04 2009
By agency reporter
20 Apr 2009
Source: Ekklesia

As South Africa prepares for its national elections on Wednesday 22 April, many grassroots organisations in South Africa plan to boycott it in protest, reports UK development agency War on Want.

During elections in 2004, the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) initiated the ‘No Land! No Vote!’ campaign to express a vote of no confidence in the range of political parties on offer in the elections.

The group Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM, literally ‘people living in shacks’) joined the boycott during the 2006 local elections and changed the campaign slogan to ‘No Land! No House! No Vote!’. Read the rest of this entry »

The purple shall govern – again!

7 10 2007
October 7, 2007 at 9:57 pm
Source: Afrodissent

ON A PAVEMENT in Burg Street, Cape Town, stands a double-sided graphic by renowned artist Conrad Botes (of Bitterkomix fame) commemorating the last protest march to be actively opposed by the apartheid regime in 1989.

During the staged sit-in, one of the protesters climbed onto a police vehicle and sprayed dye (meant to make the identification of protesters easier) from the mounted cannon onto the police, daubing the surrounding buildings in purple. The following day of the march, graffiti around Cape Town announced “The purple shall govern.” The next time a protest occurred in Cape Town, marchers were allowed to protest without police repression.

The memorial is part of a Sunday Times centenary heritage project and is remarkably relevant artwork, perhaps reminding us that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On Thursday morning I watched hundreds – if not thousands – of marchers streaming in a joyous, ululating fashion through Cape Town station’s concourse. They were residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement on their way to the Cape High Court where they are seeking to prevent their forced removal to Delft. The land the residents currently inhabit is to make way for the next phase in the N2 Gateway development (which the current Joe Slovo residents will not be benefiting from).

A few weeks ago, Joe Slovo residents protested violently, occupying the N2 highway for several hours. This column is not an attempt vindicate their behaviour, yet their actions – seen in a certain light – are understandable. It says much about the post-apartheid political landscape. We are faced with an increasingly disillusioned populace who are tired of the ANC’s empty promises. Frustration, steadily mounting at the appalling state of service delivery in South Africa, is sowing the seeds of explosive dissent which has not only been expressed that September day on the N2 but also in many townships across South Africa before that.

Government is out of touch with its electorate. Lindiwe Sisulu’s (who occupies the unenviable position of housing minister) haughty approach to the Joe Slovo crisis only serves to confirm this. Service delivery is clearly not a priority in a government obsessed with political survival against the backdrop of sordid succession race that is steadily tearing the ruling party apart.

Government’s indifference is not the only concern – so is the way service delivery protests are being treated by the police. In townships across South Africa, cases of violent (and incidentally illegal) police repression is being documented by the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI). In a press release on the institute’s website, police reactions to a protest over housing in the township of Protea South is described:

Maureen Mnisi, a community leader and Gauteng Chairperson of the Landless People’s Movement, was arrested while trying to speak with the media. She and at least five other community members were taken into custody and released, without being charged, after spending the night in jail. FXI staff overheard a police captain admitting that he had “always wanted to arrest” Mnisi.

We were shocked by the police violence. SAPS members fired at random towards the protesters, leaving the pavement covered with the blue casings of rubber bullets. Police also deployed a helicopter and water cannon, and we saw at least two officers using live ammunition. One Protea South resident, Mandisa Msewu, was shot in the mouth by a rubber bullet, and several other residents were attended to by paramedics due to police violence.

The release goes on to explain that this is not an isolated incident, and cites examples from other areas.

The authoritarian – and more often than not unconstitutional – reaction to service delivery protests would suggest a frightened government at war with its own people. It is startlingly reminiscent of the previous regime’s brutal approach to protests and possibly explains our limp stance on oppressive basket cases like Zimbabwe and Burma.

South Africans fought for their rights once, and they will do so again. The sooner the government realises this the better.


“The day the purple governed”The Sunday Times
“Police repression in Protea South an indicator of a national trend” – FXI


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