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 »

Media: Cops break up protest over KZN development

5 12 2008
Source: Mail & Guardian

Police used pepper-spray and rubber bullets to disperse 3 000 people who had closed off a section of the N2 highway on Thursday in protest against a R44-bn development in the area.

Early morning traffic was brought to a standstill as protestors burnt tractor tyres and logs on the national highway.

Disgruntled residents from the eMacambini area on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast KwaDukuza and Richards Bay were protesting against KZN premier Sbu Ndebele’s failure to respond to community concerns about the proposed development.

A memorandum handed to his office last week had elicited no response.

Moffat Chili, a member of the eMacambini Anti-removal Committee (MAC), said that at the time of going to press, there had been reports of 23 people being injured by police rubber bullets. Read the rest of this entry »

eMacambini (KZN) residents blockade rode, over 12 arrested, countless shot, 3 people in critical condition

4 12 2008
Abahlali baseMjondolo and Rural Network
Press Alert Thursday 4 December, 2008 at 13h00
*Statement by the eMacambini community to follow tonight or tommorow*

(Previous press alerts below)

On Nov 26, 2008, the eMacambini community marched about 10km to the Mandeni Municipal offices to protest against the proposed R55 Billion Amazulu World Development Project that threatens to evict more than 10,000 families living in the area.  Residents, living on communal land are members of an indigenous and traditional Zulu community.  Residents presented their grievances to Prof. Musa Xulu who received it on behalf of KZN Premier S’bu Ndebele.  Among other demands in the memorandum was that the Premier must respond to their grievances by the 3rd of December (yesterday).  The Premier has failed to respond and acknowledge the grievances of the community.

As a response, the community had blockaded the Northbound side of the N2 freeway early this morning with rocks and burning tyres for more than six hours.  It was a peaceful and nonviolent action by the community meant only to cause political damage and economic inconvenience.

Police then came and shot 13 people with rubber bullets and then proceeded to arrest a large number of residents.  Three people are now in the hospital in critical condition because of the police’s violent actions against residents.  Of the people arrested, only four people are known to be in the local Inyoni Police Station.  The location of the other people who were arrested is not known at this time.

Residents have now resolved to hold a Community Mass Prayer and Mass Meeting this coming Saturday the 6th of December to chart a way forward.

Residents have opened up a crisis office which is being manned by Rev Mavuso from the Rural Network. You can contact Rev. Mavuso in the crisis office at him at:

You can also contact Rev. Thulani at

Please contact the following people from the Anti-Removal Committee (some may have been shot or arrested or may otherwise be unable to answer their phones:

Moffat Chili:
Herbert Mbambo:
Bheki Lushozi:

For background information, visit the Stockpile of information on the eMacambini/AmaZulu World evictions

For the previous press release by the eMacambini Anti-Removal Committee, click here

Read the rest of this entry »

City-provoked violence in Hangberg

25 11 2008

Note: This is what happens when government fails to adequately consult with all residents.  This is what happens when ‘consultation’ is managed by officials from above.  For more pitfalls on in-situ upgrading click here

November 25 2008 at 02:55PM
By Natasha Prince
Source: Cape Argus

Officials are set to meet with residents of Hangberg near Hout Bay to clarify the housing dilemma that plunged the community into violent clashes with police.

The violence on Monday was sparked after Metro Police, SAPS and Law Enforcement dismantled two makeshift structures.

Several people were injured as police fired rubber bullets and residents allegedly fired back using live ammunition and stones.
Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Shack Dwellers Vow Not to Vote Again

14 11 2008
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
5 November 2008
Nomangesi Mbiza

Traffic on Lansdowne Road in Site C, Khayelitsha was still restricted to one lane on Wednesday morning after chaos erupted at an informal settlement on Tuesday after city law enforcement officials tore down illegal cables connected to a legal electricity supply.

“We are waiting for them to put up their container or tent for registration and we are going to destroy them because we are not going to register and we are not interested in voting either,” said Thozamile Boyi.

The angry residents of Island informal settlement blocked Lansdowne Road with stones and burning rubbish for about seven hours on Tuesday to protest against the removal.
Read the rest of this entry »

Photos: Abahlali baseMjondolo march to Stocks & Stocks

23 10 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mzonke Poni the chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape addressing people outside Khayelitsha local municipal offices.

Solidarity: Angry protesters barricade highway

16 09 2008

September 16 2008 at 09:52AM

Orange Farm residents have taken their demands for proper sanitation, water and housing to the streets. Hundreds of residents barricaded the Golden Highway with burning tyres and rocks on Monday, making it difficult for motorists to pass through.

Community leader Bricks Makolo said the residents were supposed to have a meeting with the ward councillor, Meisie Msimango, on Sunday to discuss their grievances. He claimed the residents waited until 11am and she did not come. “The residents got angry and decided to take action. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Biko’s paradise lost

9 09 2008

This extract from Biko Lives! looks at early black consciousness and today’s South Africa

September 07, 2008 Edition 2
Source: Sunday Independent

“This is one country where it would be possible to create a capitalist black society, if whites were intelligent, if the nationalists were intelligent. And that capitalist black society, black middle class, would be very effective … South Africa could succeed in putting across to the world a pretty convincing, integrated picture, with still 70 percent of the population being underdogs.” - Steve Biko (1972)
Read the rest of this entry »

Pictures and Video: Backyard dwellers march on MEC’s home

8 09 2008

Media: ‘We’ll sleep on court steps’

20 08 2008

More than 100 residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa will travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg today to attend the Constitutional Court appeal against the forced removal of 20 000 of their community.

The residents said they were prepared to sleep “on the steps of the Constitutional Court” ahead of the case on Thursday.

The Joe Slovo community has lived next to Cape Town’s N2 highway for about 18 years.

Three years ago the provincial and national housing department were awarded an eviction order against the residents to make way for the “N2 Gateway” housing project.

The Legal Resources Centre lost an appeal against the eviction order in the Cape high court last December .

Thubelisha Homes project, which was to construct the houses with FNB, has since been declared bankrupt.

Joe Slovo task team leader Mzwanele Zulu says the community wants free RDP houses in Joe Slovo.

“Many residents only survive by doing casual work in the city centre and nearby suburbs, and at the Epping Fresh Produce Market,” he said .

Justin de Allende, head of the provincial ministry of housing, refused to comment.