Cape Times: Anti Eviction Campaign urges poor to boycott elections

8 01 2009
Note: The Anti-Eviction Campaign is in alliance with the Landless People’s Movement (its not called the Homeless People’s Movement)
January 05, 2009 Edition 1
Aziz Hartley
Source: Cape Times

THE Anti Eviction Campaign is planning to launch a national campaign calling on voters to boycott the general elections because, it says, the government has failed the poor and politicians cannot be trusted.

Mncedisi Twalo, a leader of the organisation in Gugulethu, said the campaign slogan would be, “No land, no house, no jobs - no votes”.

“We have been preparing for months and talking to our alliance partners, Abhahali Base Mjondolo in KwaZulu-Natal and the Homeless People’s Movement in Gauteng.

“The campaign is going to all nine provinces. As the poor people of this country, we will not be voting for our further suffering, joblessness and homelessness.

“We are going out there to convince all poor communities that elections are all about power-mongering and promoting politicians.”

Twalo said the Anti Eviction Campaign was active in 46 communities across the Western Cape and represented thousands of homeless and disadvantaged families left in the lurch by politicians.

“Our main message to politicians is that we feel, as the poor, we have been left on our own. We will not participate in what is now a neo-colonialist state. We will keep pressuring whoever takes up public office.”

Jane Roberts, an Anti Eviction Campaign leader in Delft, said about 130 families evicted from incomplete houses they invaded in December 2007 were continuing to live in squalor on the pavement of Symphony Way.

She said nothing had come of numerous promises made by housing officials.

“We are going out across the Western Cape … to urge people not to vote. Politicians make promises and not a single political party can be trusted.

“Some people were told by politicians that an election boycott meant their votes would go to some other party and would be lost, but we are telling them that this is not so.”

Roberts said five Symphony Way families had been given formal homes, but the others had a bleak festive season.

Symphony Way resident Karima Linneveldt said three of the shacks burned down on Saturday morning, leaving four families homeless.

“We can’t continue like this,” she said.

“About 24 babies have been born here in tough conditions.”

Solidarity: Friday update and facts on eMacambini blockade

5 12 2008
Abahlali baseMjondolo and Rural Network Press update
5 December 2008 at 19h55pm

(Click here to see the press alerts from the previous day)

Latest on eMacambini:


- 10 residents of eMacambini were arrested and charged with “public violence” linked to yesterday’s road blockade.  However, some of those arrested, including two school-age children, were not involved in the road blockade, but were arrested at their homes.

- Among those arrested, 5 were held at the Nyoni police station, and 5 were held at the Gingindlovu police station.  They appeared in separate courts.  All have been released on bail.  The 10 accused will reappear in the same court - Mthunzini Court – but on separate dates - the 12th and the 18th of January 2009.

Police Violence:

- According to residents, police shot indiscriminately at bystanders after the blockade was disbanded, and chased people back to their homes while firing rubber bullets and metal pellets.  Many were shot at close range.

- People did throw stones at the police but in self defence and only after they were attacked by the police

- The police, which residents report came from outside the immediate area, from Mfolozi and as far as Stanger, were responsible for the shooting.

- Police reportedly kicked down the doors of people’s homes, entered and shot at them inside.  Some residents, including women and children were hiding under their beds when police entered and shot at them.

- Among those arrested for “public violence,” three were seriously injured and were held in jail overnight, and have still not been seen by a doctor as of this afternoon.  Two of those arrested and seriously injured were school-age children.  The first, age 17, sustained injuries in custody to both his knees by police batons.  The second, age 18, sustained injuries while in custody to his face from the butt of a gun.  He was also beaten by police with a wooden plank on the arm, and shot with a rubber bullet in the knee.  Another man, who was arrested along with the school-age children, was injured by a rubber bullet in the upper arm.

- The school-age children who were arrested were not part of the road blockade.  They were in their homes while the blockade was unfolding.  When they heard shooting and saw police chasing residents, they went outside to see what was happening.  The police shot at them.  They were then arrested, and assaulted by police inside the caspirs and vans that transported them to the police station.  At no point were they told why they had been arrested.

-    Another man who had not been involved with the blockade was assaulted with pepper spray.  A police officer reportedly grabbed him from behind, with his arm around the man’s neck, and sprayed him close to the eyes with pepper spray.

Next Steps:

A Mass Prayer will be held this Sunday, December 7, 2008, at the eMacambini Sports Ground.

There will be further action against the threatened forced removal of 10 000 families.


Moffat Chili:
Herbert Mbambo:
Bheki Lushozi:

Read the rest of this entry »

Eyona Tenants joining in opposition to Guguletu Square Mall

1 12 2008
Guguelthu AEC Press Statement
1st December, 2008

Today, the Gugulethu AEC, with the support of church goers, students and other local businesses, will close down construction of the Gugulethu Mall at 11h30am.

Eyona tenants who have already been evicted and who still face the threat of eviction, are now joining in solidarity with poor residents of the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign. Both are now opposing the corruption, lack of consultation, and anti-local orientation of the new Gugulethu mall.

The development of the Gugueltu Square Mall will destroy local businesses, sideline informal traders, and undermine resident’s ability to drive the development process. As much as big businesses would like it to have a human face, this near billion rand project will not benefit more than a couple residents from Gugulethu.

Facts about Eyona tenants threatened with eviction:
1.SS Skhoma Butchery and Shirley Sigasana Takeway built their own structures and have traded in these structures at the old Eyona Shopping Centre for more than 25 years.
2.Eyona Tenants’ first landlord was Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) under the old Apartheid government. After 1994, the new government (on behalf of the people) became the owner. The government itself along with government organisations such as the DTI and Khula made promises of ownership towards Eyona tenants.
3.Eventually, without the community’s consent or consultation, government sold the land for R11.70 to Khula which then proceeded to directly engage big-business and ignore pass promises and obligations towards the community.
4.With regards to the development of the Gugulethu mall, the DTI and Khula have manipulated and undermined the Eyona Tenants. All their promises have been made without written documentation. Along with the developers, they refuse to sign any type of lease agreements to ensure that their promises of space to trade become a reality.
5.While the Eyona Tenants (in conjunction with the residents of Gugulethu) should own the land on which the mall is being built, they have received no compensation from government for the selling of their land towards helping establish big-business in Gugs.
6.Instead, our democratically elected government is actively helping Khula, Wst Side Trading, Old Mutual and Group 5 in their unfair and deceitful evictions of the Gugulethu Eyona Tenants.
7.By 30 November 2008, the remaining structure of the old shopping centre (the Butchery, Take-away and the Garage) are supposed to be vacated and then demolished. But without a court order, any attempted eviction will be illegal.

Today, 1st December 2008 at 11h30, the Gugulethu community (including members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, students, church goes and other local businesses) will show their support for the Eyona Tenants by stopping construction on the mall and protecting the remaining structures from being demolished.

The Struggle Continues!

For comment, please call Mncedisi at and Speelman at .

Letters from David to Goliath

21 11 2008
Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Friday 21 November, 2008

The battle continues. Gugulethu residents are continuing to oppose the R350-million Guguletu Square Mall.  We are in solidarity with all other South African’s who are being sidelined to make way for elitist projects such as the proposed AmaZulu World in Durban.

Claims a resident: “The local small business people in Gugs will taste none of this massive cake”.  And that is true: only 10% of the mall is even open to local Gugulethu business people who can afford it.  Over 70% of the mall has already been allocated to massive corporations such as Shoprite, Spar, Truworths, ABSA, FNB, PEP and Foschini.

In a battle pitting David against Goliath (see M&G article), David rarely wins when he or she fights alone.  Yet, we are not just one David, we are many.  We are the tens of thousands of Davids living in Gugulethu who will be adversely affected by this project.  We are those who fight and we are also those to to old, to young, to scared, or to despondent to fight.  Yet we know that if we bring enough of us out into the battle, we will be able to stand up to big business Goliaths such as Old Mutual, Mzoli Ngcawuzele, and even Tokyo Sexwale.

We have sent the following letters to big business in an attempt to be heard and with the expectation of meaningful consultation and dialogue:

For more information, please contact Mncedisi at and Speelman at .

Media: David vs Goliath in Gugulethu

20 11 2008

For more, see AEC Press Release entitled “Letters from David to Goliath“

PEARLIE JOUBERT - Nov 21 2008 05:00
Source: Mail & Guardian

David is squaring up to Goliath in the form of a small, petite butcher staring down developers of a R350-million mall in Gugulethu.

Construction work on this massive luxury shopping mall, called Gugulethu Square, in Gugs township is under threat because owners of a 25-year-old family business are refusing to make way for the mall.
Read the rest of this entry »

Housing MEC tells backyarders to keep up the pressure on the City; AEC obliges

14 11 2008

Gugulethu AEC Press Statement
Friday 14 November, 2008

On the 2nd of November, Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign met with Whitey Jacobs, the province’s Housing MEC. At the meeting, the ANC appointee (who is responsible to house shackdwellers like ourselves) continued the usual party politics - blaming the DA run city for our predicament.

While we know that the Province (not the City) is responsible for building houses for us, we were also happy to receive support from the MEC in terms of ‘keeping up the pressure‘ on the City to release land in Gugulethu for us to occupy. Jacobs claimed to support our activism and numerous attempts to occupy vacant land on Lansdowne Road next to the Fezeka in Gugulethu.

Therefore, with the support of the MEC for Housing, the Gugulethu Backyard Dwellers will again attempt to occupy the this land in order to pressure the City and Province into providing us with our constitutional rights: land and housing.

We hope that since we have the MEC’s support, that we will also have the protection of the SAPS so that we are not assaulted by the city police.

No more party politics! No Land! No House! No Job! No Vote!

Location: ELF# RR448 on Lansdowne Road next to the Fezeka in Gugulethu
Time: 11h00am
Date: Saturday 15 November, 2008

For more information, contact:

Mncedisi at 646
Speelman at 725

Media: Blacklist warning for bad builders

13 11 2008
By Francis Hweshe
Source: Cape Argus
November 13 2008 at 04:06PM

Unscrupulous construction companies involved in public housing projects could be blacklisted for shoddy workmanship by the provincial government.

Housing MEC Whitey Jacobs and Premier Lynne Brown are set for a showdown tomorrow with the companies in a bid to force them to comply or face blacklisting and de-registration. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Nonagenarian faces eviction, again

10 11 2008

Note: The Anti-Eviction Campaign successfully put 96 year old Dora Booysen back in her home.  She will not move all the way to Mitchell’s Plain where she will not have the help and support of her family.  She will stay where she is until the city confirms that the house is owned by her.  If helping old ladies from homelessness is controversial as the article below states, then let us be controversial!

By Nwabisa Msutwana-Stemela

November 10 2008 at 07:53AM

Source: Cape Argus

Tempers flared outside a Gugulethu home where a 93-year-old woman faces eviction for the second time this year because of a long-running dispute about ownership.

Red-shirted members of the deeply controversial Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and community members last week gathered in support of Nothemba Booysen, who lives in the house with her niece Dora Booysen.

The women had received a letter from Sogwagwa Attorneys saying they had to go, but they were determined to resist the pressure.

The house, formerly a council house, has been home to the Booysen family since the 1970s. But in 1996 it appears to have been incorrectly registered by the municipality as belonging to the Mnyengeza family who lived next door, giving the Mnyengezas ownership of both houses. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Squaring up over a mall

9 11 2008

Mzoli’s Properties continues to prevent poor residents from participating in and benefiting from the new Guguletu Square Mall.  But residents are not backing down until they win concessions from big business!

*Click here for a video of the protest*

Squaring up over a Mall

City Press: Squaring up over a Mall

Media: Jobs spat on Gugulethu construction site

7 11 2008
By Nomangesi Mbiza
November 07 2008 at 02:42PM
Source: Cape Argus

About 100 residents of Gugulethu marched to the construction site of a new shopping mall on Thursday ment on the development.

They allege that Khayelitsha residents have been given jobs, while Gugulethu residents had been overlooked.

“We were told no-one from Gugulethu is working because we don’t have the necessary skills,” claimed Mncedisi Twalo, provincial chairperson of the Anti-Eviction Campaign. Read the rest of this entry »