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Recent articles by Anti-Privatisation Forum
Recent Articles about Southern Africa Community struggles
South Africa: Stop The Evictions in Itireleng!!
southern africa | community struggles | non-anarchist press Friday January 15, 2010 14:32 by Anti-Privatisation Forum - APF
APF Public Statement Wednesday 13th January 2010
On Monday (11th January) over 1000 families in two sections of the Itireleng shack settlement, situated between Atteridgeville and Laudium in the Tshwane region, were brutally evicted by a combined force of Red Ants and the Tshwane Metro Police. During the eviction, the residents were attacked with batons, rubber bullets and some residents reported that live ammunition was also used. As a result, 49 people were injured, several seriously. All the evicted residents were left without any shelter and the majority have been camping by the side of the road for the last two days.
Most of these families have been living in Itireleng for over a decade. Repeated attempts by residents over the years to access formal housing and the provision of services from the Tshwane municipality have been ignored, despite the community’s consistent engagement with authorities. Instead, the municipality allowed a sizeable section of Itireleng to be purchased by Pretoria Portland Cement Company Limited (PPC) who was then subsequently granted an eviction order. Joining forces with PPC’s hired guns – the Red Ants – the municipality dispatched the Metro police to help in the eviction. Residents in an adjoining section of land owned by municipality were also targeted in the eviction. Pleas by residents to the Tshwane MMC for Housing to halt the eviction and now, for alternative accommodation, have fallen on deaf ears.
APF activists have been in Itireleng since the eviction began trying to assist with alternative accommodation and organising further resistance. Yesterday, a mass meeting was held followed by a night vigil out in the open. Residents have vowed not to move until they are either allowed to return and rebuild their shacks or are provided nearby alternative accommodation. Not surprisingly, APF activists report that they have been the targets of violent intimidation by some members of the local ANC.
This inhumane and constructed eviction once again shows that the local government and ANC authorities are paying lip service to both the needs and rights of marginalised, poor communities as well as the institutional and so-called participatory processes supposedly designed to ‘include’ and ‘hear’ the voices of poor communities. It also once again confirms that those politicians who claim to represent such communities are more interested in cozying up to, and facilitating the needs of, corporate capital. While billions have been spent (and made by corporates like PPC) and endless propaganda continues to spew forth about the benefits and ‘world class’ character of the upcoming soccer World Cup, the lives of the most vulnerable and impoverished continue to be treated with arrogance and contempt.
THERE CAN BE NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE!
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