Last night, at about 7:30pm, Mandela Park Anti-Eviction Campaign activist Max Ntanyana was abducted from outside his house after a community meeting. He was walking down the road when a black car with no number plates pulled up behind him. Three men jumped out, grabbed Max, and dragged him into the car.
The Max’s family and the Mandela Park community was left not knowing what had happened. Members of the community had, however, recognised some of the men who grabbed Max, as they had been at the earlier community meeting. A group of women had been seen talking to these men, and one of these women was grabbed by Mandela Park residents.
It was only this action that cause police to admit that the men in the unmarked car were acting for the police, and that Max had been arrested (apparently on ‘contempt of court’ charges). In their attempts to search for the woman that the community was holding, police kicked down doors in the Andile Nose community centre. The Andile Nose community centre is currently being used as school for 1500 learners who cannot get education elsewhere!
The woman being held was released after the head of the Khayelitsha police, Mr Shivuri, came to Mandela Park late last night to negotiate with the community.
Today, Max appeared in court, and his hearing was postponed to
Wednesday. The Mandela Park Anti-Eviction Campaign has stated that it will protest outside the court on Wednesday morning.
The arrest of Max Ntanyana is the latest act in a campaign of
criminalisation of the poor by the government. The issue that caused the formation of the Mandela Park AEC remains: the poor of Mandela Park are forced to pay unaffordable repayments on houses financed by banks.
The houses are at best the basic minimum that every person should have a right to (as guaranteed by the Constitution), yet Mandela Park, and other areas of Khayelitsha and beyond, have seen the full force of the state imposed on them to evict people from their houses and to safeguard a ‘secure lending environment’ for private sector banks.
Released by the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign on behalf of the Mandela Park Anti-Eviction Campaign
For more info: Andy 073 130 4966