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#SouthAfrica: State Attacks Continue in #Durban

South Africa. May 12, 2020. Today the eThekwini Municipality’s notoriously violent Anti-Land Invasion Unit and the equally notorious Calvin & Family Security threatened residents in three occupations, and destroyed homes in two occupations. In all cases they were acting with the backup of the national and municipal police forces.

Submitted to Enough 14.

The eKhenana occupation

They first went to the eKhenana occupation in Cato Crest and threatened the residents. On 24 April we won an interdict against the Municipality preventing them for carrying out illegal evictions in this community.

We had previously secured an interdict against illegal evictions in this community in February 2019 but we had to return to court as the municipality was evicting in violation of this interdict, the law, the Constitution and the lockdown regulations.

Shortly after we secured the interdict against the eThekwini Municipality on 24 April, Mr. Mkhize, the leader of the city’s notorious Land Invasion Unit went to eKhenana to continue his attack on the community. Mkhize went wild in anger at Abahlali winning in court and fired live ammunition at the community seriously injuring one person. This is not the first time that we have been violently attacked after winning in court.

Our first attempts at opening a charge of attempted murder against Mkhize were refused by the police but after a number of attempts we were eventually successful. It is very worrying to see that Mkhize has not been suspended and that he led the team that intimidated and threatened residents today.

The Ekuphumeleleni occupation

Calvin & Family security, the South African Police Services and the Durban Metro Police also visited the Ekuphumeleleni occupation in Marianhill today. They took photographs, threatened people and told them that they will be forcibly removed to transit camps by the notorious local councillor, Khekhe. They then proceeded to demolish two homes. There was no court order and this was, therefore, an illegal eviction in terms of the law as well as the lockdown regulations.

The Azania occupation

The Azania occupation in Cato Manor has suffered more than forty state attacks since 2019. The attacks on this occupation are ongoing. On 1 May 11 homes were demolished. On 5 May 17 homes were demolished. On 8 May 26 homes were demolished and people’s belongings loaded onto a truck and taken away. Today 14 homes were demolished and the building materials, and people’s belongings, were burnt.

People lost Sassa cards, ID cards, school books, school uniforms, work clothes, clinic cards and medication in these fires.

All these evictions are unlawful in terms of the Constitution, the law and the lockdown regulations. We repeat that in Durban we are dealing with a rogue municipality that is engaged in violent and criminal attacks on impoverished black people on an organised and systematic basis. We note that neither the President nor the Minister of Human Settlements have condemned these attacks or taken steps to stop them.

We demand an immediate end to these evictions, the immediate suspension of Mkhize from the Anti-Land Invasion Unit pending a full criminal investigation into the case that we have opened of attempted murder, and the immediate suspension of all activities by Calvin & Family Security pending a full investigation into this company’s ongoing criminal activities.

The struggle continues.

Abahlali baseMjondolo, May 12, 2020.

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