Durban, South Africa: Shortly after the arrest of the eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, our offices in Durban were broken into. Two hard drives and an external drive were taken, but cash and easily saleable items like cameras and a television were left. It was clear that the thieves were looking for information and not money. We strongly suspect that this break-in was linked to our opposition to the mayor.
Yesterday, at about 9:30am, the notorious Anti Land Invasion unit stormed the Dayton River Village settlement in Lamontville and destroyed about 24 homes leaving families homeless. As usual there was no court order for this eviction and it was therefore an illegal and criminal act by the municipality.
This community has been here since 2002. Since they have been ignored for too long without basic services they decided to join our movement. A few meetings have been had with them and Abahlali granted them membership. We suspect that the gangster administration in Durban was angered by the community’s decision to join our movement. We are aware that the growth of our movement is viewed as posing serious threat to the gangster administration and that there is a sustained tactic to resort to violence to install fear in impoverished people. We all know that the politicians think they own impoverished people.
At around 13:30pm on Saturday the Azania occupation in Cato Manor, Ward 29 ,was attacked and homes were demolished and then burnt by the same unit. Again there was no court order and this was another illegal and criminal act by the municipality. Azania has been under constant attack for some time now.
The entire city is dysfunctional at the moment and services to the people of Durban have been brought to standstill. The city has been brought into this crisis after being looted by gangster politicians, who are willing to murder each other, and anyone who opposes them in their fight for personal enrichment. Now that the mayor has been arrested, and 62 councillors have been threatened with arrest, they are fighting to retain their positions by force.
We are calling for an immediate moratorium on all evictions in this city and a full and fair investigation into the ongoing illegal and violent conduct of the Anti-Land Invasions Unit.
We are calling for Cllr Zandile Gumede to immediately step down as the mayor of eThekwini.
We are calling for the ANC at the national level to act in the best interest of the people of Durban by immediately removing all gangsters that have taken over our city.
Abahlali baseMjondolo, May 20, 2019
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