Hlophe accused of Zuma interference

30 05 2008

Background note: This is not the first time Judge Hlophe has been accused of corruption. He was accused of taking bribes from property developers and evidence shows that he was guilty of this offence. He was also the judge to rule on the forced removals from Joe Slovo which is now being appealed to the constitutional court. It is clear to everyone involved that Hlophe has been biased towards the ANC and property developers which accounts for his viscious ruling against about 20,000 Joe Slovo residents. For more information see the article by Pierre De Vos (Professor of Constitutional Law at UWC).

Giordano Stolley at M&G
30 May 2008 04:59

Cape Judge President John Hlophe has been accused of attempting to influence the Constitutional Court’s decision over search-and-seizure raids carried out by the Scorpions on properties of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturing giant Thint. Read the rest of this entry »

Residents and business unite against new Gugulethu Shopping Mall

29 05 2008
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Thursday 29 May 2008 at 12h30

GUGULETHU - On 1st June 2008, there will be a mass meeting in the Gugulethu Sports Complex at 2pm of all businesses and residents opposed to a new multi-million rand shopping mall that is being built in NY1, on the site of the demolished Eyona Centre.

Mzoli Developers (owned by businessman Mzoli Ngcawuzela, owner of the well known Mzoli’s restaurant) and JT Ross have been called to come to the meeting and explain to the community why they are building this mall without any consultation, public participation or transparent processes having taken place.

NAFCOC, SANCO, and CATA have also been invited, as well as the PAC, ANC, all Ward Councillors and the Gugulethu Development Forum.

The Anti-Eviction Campaign will be chairing the meeting.

There is a dispute over the building of the mall. There are fears that big franchises will sideline small business and community based enterprises.

Currently the building site has been shut down. This happened on 27 May, when there was an urgent meeting organised by small businesses of Gugulethu and concerned citizens. The meeting resolved that nobody has been properly consulted on the building of the new shopping mall, neither has there been transparency or public participation. The community of Gugulethu then went to the building site in NY1 (the former Eyona Shopping Centre) in large numbers and told the Site Manager that they were shutting the building site down.

The site has remained shut and will stay shut until after Sunday’s meeting, if agreement is reached at that meeting.

For comment, call Mncedisi Twalo of AEC on or Thandiswa Kama on or Ranti Dlangamandla on

No home sweet home for Soetwater Somalis

29 05 2008
by Kate Stegeman
Business Day - 29/5/2008

DISPLACED Somalis have been at the forefront of the mounting tension, political mudslinging and sour relations dogging the Soetwater disaster management area in Cape Town.

Now there are calls to close down the camps. Read the rest of this entry »

‘The poor are becoming impatient’

29 05 2008
29 May 2008 07:24

Source: M&G

The border between South Africa and Zimbabwe should be “comprehensively” abolished, Methodist Bishop Paul Verryn told academics at the University of the Witwatersrand on Wednesday.
“In exactly the same way we pulled down the fences in 1994 and found that instead of restricting, it enabled. Instead of closing the economy, it opened up much wider trust in the economy,” Verryn told a colloquium on violence and xenophobia.

He said foundation for what had gone wrong lay in the labelling of vulnerable people as “illegal aliens” and their criminalisation.
Read the rest of this entry »

Solidarity: The Rosslyn Temporary Refugee Camp (Pretoria) attacked By South African Police Services

28 05 2008

28TH MAY 2008 - 20.30HRS

Statement taken by Alvin Anthony from four refugees who do not wish to disclose their identity.

At approximately 18.00 hrs on the 28th May 2008, the South African Police Services came into the camp with white tents and commanded the refugees to move to the Disaster management camp set up by the South African Government.

The Refugees have made it clear on a number of occasions that they do not want to move to the South African Government camp but have requested that they be attended to by the UNHCR and moved to a safer country. Representatives of the refugees at the camp met with the UN representatives today to put forward their request. The UN promised to come back to them tomorrow with feedback after the UN meets with Home Affairs officials.

The refugees refused to move to the South African Government camp. The police then forced the refugees to move into the Disaster management camp. In the mayhem that followed the police fired rubber bullets and a number of people including two babies were injured with shot wounds. All this happened inside the camp. In their aggression the following types of verbal abuse was directed by the police towards the refugees.

“Funkin kwere kwere go back to your country this is our country” This was said by both white and black police.

“Your Women are bitches, this is our country.”

The abuse, shooting and beating continued and many fled to the bush. Others were forced into the disaster management camp which is alongside the camp with the white tents. They are now locked in what is effectively a prison.

An officer with the name Sambo was extremely aggressive with many xenophobic comments.

The police were commanded by a white police officer who gave the order to shoot.

I arrived at the camp at approximately 19.15hrs and was stopped by a group of four or five officers. A white officer asked me to turn back and leave the camp very aggressively and rudely, I refused saying that I have an arrangement to fetch people and I am going to do so. He eventually allowed me to park and fetch the people I had intended to fetch. I then approached him and asked him for his police identity details. He refused to provide me with them. I told him that this was not acceptable and by law he is obligated to identify himself to me if I make such a request,

The four refugees are well known to me.

They feel extremely angry that having borne the trauma the recent of xenophobic attacks with injury, trauma loss of life and property and having to flee to a camp, they have not been subjected to a vicious violent attack by the South African Police Services.

They call for immediate action to be taken against these police and that their call for transfer to a country that provides them with safety be addressed.

Alvin Anthony -

Afrophobia: Only complete reform of economy can defuse tensions

28 05 2008
Cape Times May 28, 2008 Edition 1
Drucilla Cornell, Mahmood Mamdani, and Sampie Terreblanche

We believe that the violence that South Africa has experienced over the last week is systemic in nature and will not end until the underlying causes of economic distress have been dealt with thoroughly.

South Africa is in a state of emergency because of the failure to address desperate poverty and is in urgent need of a mechanism to begin public discussion on how to ensure dignity for all those who live here.

Even by conservative estimates, over 50% of the South African population experiences dire poverty.

Many of the poor live in townships, and for the most part, what is at stake in these townships is a battle for mere survival in unbearable living conditions. The consequence of this poverty has invariably led to the current outpouring of frustration and rage in various South African townships. Read the rest of this entry »

Refugee camps are a mistake - UN

28 05 2008
Note: Lawyers have called the camps unconstitutional, Africans placed there have likened them to concentration camps, and the City of Cape Town is intent on using the Afrophobic attacks as a pretext to forced removal.
By Karen Breytenbach and Anel Powell
May 28 2008 at 08:50AM
Source: IOL

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is willing and able to assist the government in dealing with the mass displacement of refugees, but it has not yet been approached for help.

The organisation also does not agree with Cape Town’s establishment of camps for displaced people.

Arvin Gupta, a senior UNHCR protection officer, said the UNHCR did not agree with the City of Cape Town that those displaced by the violence should be held at camps across the city, but also realised the immediate return to the communities they had to flee from was far from ideal.

Lawyers have said the camps are unconstitutional.

Read the rest of this entry »

Abahlali baseMjondolo: Foreigners attacked in PMB

27 05 2008

There have been no attacks or harassment of any sort in any of the settlements affiliated to Abahlali or with an Abahlali branch. (The movement has members in Durban, Pinetown, Tongaat & Pietermaritzburg.)

Foreigners attacked in PMB
26 May 2008

Bongani Hans

REPORTS of sporadic attacks on foreign nationals have surfaced in
Pietermaritzburg. The past weekend saw property set alight and a
Zimbabwean national leaving Imbali, covered in blood.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, a shack in the city centre
occupied by a Congolese man was burnt down. The occupant was threatened
earlier in the day and told to get out of SA.

That evening he moved out of the shack behind the Solid Rock Global
Ministries church complex in Retief Street — and found it gutted the
next morning. He had spent the night in the church building with other

According to the refugees, they could smell burning, but were too scared
to come out of the building. They only emerged when they heard the fire
engine siren.

“We saw about 20 people standing on the concrete wall separating the
complex and Kismet Hotel. They started shouting, ‘Kwerekwere, go back to
your country!’,” said refugee Didier Matindi.

The Imbali attack happened on Saturday, when a Zimbabwean known only as
Ebel was stabbed by a young man in his rented room after he refused to
hand over his cellphone and money.

An eyewitness said Ebel was preparing to leave SA because he had been
intimidated previously and was selling some of his possessions. A group
of young men went to his room and pretended to be interested in buying
his things, but once inside they produced knives and held him up.

“When he refused, one of them stabbed him on the head. Ebel grabbed a
knife and stabbed one of them in the shoulder and they all ran away
after neighbours were alerted …” said the witness.
He said Ebel refused to go to a clinic. He collected his belongings and
boarded a taxi.

“We accompanied him to the city, where he bought a hat to cover his
injured head. He boarded a taxi saying he was going to Durban to get
transport to Malawi,” said the witness.

Yesterday, a Malawian vendor was attacked in Slatter Street near the
Imbali taxi rank, apparently by taxi drivers and conductors. They
pointed to an elbow and asked him what it was and when he didn’t know
the obscure Zulu word, they then called him “ikwerekwere” before
assaulting and robbing him.

A Congolese woman said their South African friends have turned against
them. “I run a salon in Pietermaritz Street, and next to it there is a
coffee shop where I have been always buying a cup of coffee in the
morning. But on Friday when I went to buy one, the waiter told me there
is no coffee for me and I must leave …”

Another Congolese woman said that in Impendle on Friday she and a friend
going to sell clothes were insulted and told to leave the country.

“These people were like friends to us. They welcomed us with open arms …
But suddenly they turned against us,” said another woman.

Another woman said that yesterday morning a man came to her complex
looking for a house to rent. When she told the man that there was no
room, the man said: “You kwerekwere have a place to stay while I don’t”.

It won’t happen here, say residents of PMB’s Jika Joe

(Ash Road has a strong Abahlali branch. A non AbM member did try to attack a person born in another country but he met instant and stiff opposition and its now clear that the settlements is safe for everyone except xenophobes bent on violence)

26 May 2008
Nokulunga Ngobese

Residents of the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg have
taken a stand against attacks on foreigners.

While the informal settlement in Ash Road is mainly inhabited by local
citizens, it has accommodated more than 500 foreigners over the years.

Criticising xenophobia at an imbizo aimed at informing residents about
recent Msunduzi housing development plans for them, ward councillor
Peter Green said: “This behaviour of attacking foreigners is totally
unacceptable … Everyone should be respected as human being.”

“Residents have promised us that cases like this will not happen in
their area,” said Inspector Hamilton Madakana.

Community leader Bongani Mkhize said that what has been happening in
this country is bad and Jike Joe residents do not want it happening

He said community members need to work together. “If residents in every
community can catch one or two group leaders of these attacks, the whole
thing can stop.”

Foreigners who have been living in Jika Joe for two years said they are
unhappy and shocked.

“We are here to make a living so that we can support our families. We
urge South Africans to stop assaulting us, because everyone is a
foreigner in a country that is not his birth place,” said Benard Filo
from Malawi.

Refugee Chaos Grows

27 05 2008
May 27 2008 at 02:19PM
Source: IOL

Without a co-ordinated intergovernmental strategy to manage the aftermath of the xenophobic violence, the city’s safe centres, community halls and churches will continue to battle to accommodate the more than 20,000 displaced foreigners who need shelter, food and medical assistance.

And conditions at the various safe sites and military bases vary from adequate to inhumane, with thousands of Somalian refugees housed at Wynberg’s Youngsfield military base complaining that the army is barring them from leaving the site.

Refugees here were issued with an armband and a number when they arrived, and body search before they could enter the main hall.

Many complained that they did not want to be housed in “camps” reminiscent of concentration camps.

The press was barred from entering the site where, according to the couple of hundred refugees outside, thousands of people were being housed. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Statement: African brothers and sisters and AEC to march on Gugulethu police station today

27 05 2008
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
27th May 2008

GUGULETHU, CAPE TOWN - The Anti-Eviction Campaign plus our African brothers and sisters who live in Gugulethu are going to march on Gugulethu Police Station at 12h30 today (Tuesday 27 May).

The community is marching against Afrophobia (xenophobia) and demanding more protection from the police. They want to be safe and they don’t like to be harassed and they want to remain in those places where they have always stayed.

It is also very disturbing to see that the Zille regime in Cape Town has taken advantage of the perilous situation that those who have been attacked are in, and swiftly moved them to very remote places, basically setting up de facto refugee camps.

Thousands of refugees have been moved, without consultation, to Kommetjie, the West Coast and Strand where they are totally cut off from their workplaces or from the opportunities to do piece work.

“We don’t want our own brothers and sisters to be isolated from the community. We don’t want any authorities to discriminate against them by removing them from our communities. We are totally against what the government is doing in this regard because they did not even consult the relevant people on the ground” said Mncedisi Twalo from Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign.

For more information, call Mncedisi Twalo on