Forced Eviction in South Africa

Anti-Eviction Campaign Solidarity Press Release Monday 16 February, 2009

Over 50 people in Cornwall Street, Woodstock, are under threat of evictions.

Most residents have lived their whole lives in the street. The owner of flats in the street, Fatima Gabi, and the City of Cape Town would like to demolish the buildings to build luxury flats in time for the 2010 World Cup. Six families – including disabled persons, pensioners, and children – could lose their right to adequate housing. These families received lawyers’ letters from the owner’s legal advisors who informed them to vacate the properties on, or before, the 24th of February 2009.
If they refuse, they have been informed that they will have to appear in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on the above date.

The Woodstock Anti-Eviction Campaign condemns this kind of intimidation from the slumlords who like to make profits out of the poor.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Abahlali baseMjondolo Files for Leave to Appeal Judge Shabalala’s Judgment in the Slums Act Case

Today Abahlali baseMjondolo has filed papers indicating that we intend to apply for leave to appeal against the whole of Judge Vuka Shabalala’s judgment on our application to have the KwaZulu-Natal Elimination and Prevention of Re-emergence of Slums Act of 2007 declared unconstitutional. Our application for leave to appeal is online here

This move has been taken after KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Vuka Shabalala dismissed the application made by Abahlali in the Durban High Court on the 27th January 2009. Abahlali had accepted the judgement stating that we will abide by the judicial process due to our confidence that it will, in the end, protect the rights of shacks dwellers to cities. However Abahlali did vow that it would appeal the judgement to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the, if necessary, take it to the Constitutional Court.

While debating Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali General Secretary, on SAFM the MEC for Local Government and Traditional affairs, Mr Mike Mabuyakhulu, said that his Department was happy with the judgement but did not have any pride in it. He said that they were humble in victory and that they were going to meet with the leaders of the movement to discuss the way forward. But he has not come.

This broken promise comes after several broken promises from his office that his Department is prepared to meet with Abahlali leaders. We remembered how his spokesperson, Lenox Mabaso lied to millions of listeners of iGagasi FM, and also to Daily Sun readers, that he would visit and sleep in the Kennedy Road settlement in 2007. We have still not seen Lennox Mabaso in the Kennedy Road settlement. However we still have a shack waiting for him.

Abahlali have honestly waited for the MEC to come but in vain. Even when our office called the MEC’s office on Thursday(12-02-09), last week, Mabaso was ‘in a meeting’ 24 hours a day . We had no choice but to proceed to appeal the judgment and to take the next step towards the Constitutional Court of S.A. Here we are confident that in no way will the Court consider contradicting and undermining existing laws that regulates the occupation of land. We are confident that the Constitutional Court will protect the Constitutional rights of shacks dwellers and every citizen.

For more information about the notorious Slums Act and the reasons for our opposition to it please clik here visit