Police threaten, assault Symphony Way residents and two Americans, arrest one

10 12 2008
Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Wednesday 10 December, 2008

Earlier today at around 17h15, police officer De Vos of the Delft police station along with 4 other officers entered Symphony Way and began verbally swearing at and abusing residents. The majority of residents were in a workshop led by an American from a children’s NGO. When Jane Roberts came outside the office where the workshop was taking place, De Vos immediately began threatening Auntie Jane with arrest. He told her quote: “I am going to moor you” and “I will lock you up” and a number of other words inappropriate to publish. He was clearly picking on Aunty Jane because of past instances in which she has opposed his abuse of the community.

Two Americans were also present. The one is the Executive Director of a children’s NGO and the other an American journalist. When they both began documenting the abuse on their cameras and phone, police immediately began threatening to confiscate their cameras and arrest them. A woman police officer then came and slapped the one American and threw his camera to the ground. Police left at around 18h00 once other police officers arrived at the scene.

Then, at 20h00, De Vos came back with his crew and arrested resident Roger Wicks who had nothing to do with the previous incident. He has now been charged with swearing at police and malicious damage to property.

Tomorrow, residents, along with the two Americans, will attempt to lay a charge at the Delft police station against De Vos and the other four police officers on duty.

This is not the first incident of police abuse. There have been over 10 incidents since February 2008 including on 30 October 2008 and 4 October 2008 and 29 June, 2008 and 25 February 2008.

There was also the many instances of brutality during the 19th of February evictions. Documentation includes: (a) Star article: Delft refuse, resist eviction, (b) video by a bystander, (c) video by eTV and (d) photos

For more information, contact Ashraf and Auntie Jane
For statements from the two Americans, contact Matt at and Jay at

Media: Employ local people, say protesters

31 10 2008

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

The residents had earlier rejected a proposal by prominent local businessman and mall developer Mzoli Ngcawuzele that ANC ward councillors Andile Matshikiza and Belinda Landingwe choose the residents who will get jobs on the site.

Guguletu backyard dwellers leader Mcedisi Twalo said: “We don’t want interference by ward councilors and political parties in the job selection.”

Last week the local people marched on “Mzoli’s Place”, a restaurant owned by the same Ngcawuzele, calling on him to stop what they called “intimidation” against them.

This after Ngcawuzele had allegedly interrupted a community meeting and warned residents that former uMkhonto we Sizwe members were deployed at the development with security guards to prevent any form of protest that could delay construction.

Good news, bad news; a carrot and some shotguns

30 10 2008

A few minutes after receiving news that they qualify for a housing subsidy, Symphony Way residents get terrorised by the police - again!

For photos and video, click here.

Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
30 October, 2008

What the City of Cape Town things about the poor

What the City of Cape Town things about the poor

Today, the Pavement Dwellers of Symphony Way finally met with Brian Denton, the deputy director of the Province’s subsidy registration for the Department of Housing. He confirmed that almost all Symphony residents qualify for a housing subsidy. Yet, despite this good news, residents were invaded by the city of Cape Town’s Land Invasions Unit and police who attempted to open a road that they had officially closed in February. They maintain that even though the road will remain closed, residents were not allowed to block the road. Read the rest of this entry »

The tanks roll in…

30 10 2008

For the AEC press release, click here.

Symphony Way terrorised by the police - again!

Our Word is Our Weapon: While the city of Cape Town intimidates residents with shotguns and tank-like vehicles, the people of Symphony Way respond with their words - and a round of applause.

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 »

Media: Vandalism threatens new Gugs mall

15 10 2008

By Esther Lewis
October 15 2008 at 11:45AM
Source: Cape Argus

The construction of a Gugulethu shopping centre will be halted on Thursday morning by Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) protesters if property developer Mzoli Ngcauzele does not meet their demands.

If there was no action from Ngcauzele, the AEC threatened to vandalise his home and popular Gugulethu butchery and restaurant, Mzoli’s Place.

Mncedisi Twalo, AEC spokesperson, said step two would be to bring “chocolate buckets” from the informal settlements and empty them on his properties. As a last resort they would burn tyres in the streets.

The war of words erupted on Tuesday as the AEC and about 60 residents marched on Ngcauzele and called him a “black wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Read the rest of this entry »

Photos: Gugulethu residents protest Mzoli and his underhanded business practices

14 10 2008

Gugulethu residents to protest against new Mall backed the famous Mzoli and Old Mutual

13 10 2008

Guguelthu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
14 October, 2008

Begin: Gugulethu Sports Complex
End: Mzoli’s Place
Time: 15h00

Later today, the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign will be marching with Eyona tenants to Mzoli’s Place - a tourist hotspot and famous butchery/nightclub.

Months ago, small and informal business were evicted from Eyona Shopping Centre to make way for a new Mall. While this development is primarily being financed by Old Mutual, Mr. Mzoli Ngcauzela (whom residents have dubbed black wolf with sheep skin) has been Old Mutual’s strongman in dealing with the community.

On Sunday, Mzoli showed up to the AEC’s weekly mass meeting escorted by ANC members, taxi bosses and local thugs. They interrupted the meeting and told the community that “no one is going to stop the development”. They also warned that former members of Mkhonto we Sizwe were being deployed at the development alongside security guards to prevent any form of protest that could delay construction.

As a result, the community has decided to take their protest to Mzoli’s famous butchery and restaurant. While outside the township he has a good reputation (attracting politicians, tourists and other wealthy visitors to his butchery), in Gugs he is known for the mess, public drunkenness and violence that his butchery brings to the neighborhood. Throughout Gugs, he is also known for his suspicious business dealings and corrupt connections to politicians.

Gugulethu AEC demands that:
1.The community is meaningfully consulted about the shopping centre.
2.All informal traders are guaranteed space to conduct their business
3.Mzoli immediately ends his intimidation of residents.

For more information, contact Mncedisi at and Speelman at