Statement from Maureen Mnisi of the LPM 8

5 03 2009

Statement from Maureen Mnisi of the Landless Peoples Movement

Comrades, as the Landless People’s Movement, we were arrested on Sunday 1st March and put in custody and freed on bail of R500 each. We were eight. Our names are Maureen Mnisi, Maas van Wyk, Ivy Seno, Elsie Mkhuma, Shelia Masenodi, Gasa Radebe, Michael Dlamini and Chester Maluleka. One of us is under age (16 years). The case is remanded to the 25th of March. We appreciate your support, even on the 25th.

Comrades it is very difficult for me as a leader of voiceless people to be arrested all the time when I raise the views of the landless people. It is difficult for me as mother of my children and being a single parent. It is clear that the democracy that we voted in 1994 is not for the poor and landless people in urban settlements and rural areas. We are bounded to be controlled by ANC councillors because we don’t have the right to participate in our development. As soon as we try to exercise our constitutional rights the SAPS is oppressing us.

Maureen Mnisi, by cellphone text message


Media: Guguletu protesters demand social grants

5 03 2009
AEC Note: Anytime the community highlights issues of corruption, party politics and unfair distribution of services, the government claims the leaders are misleading the community.  The truth is that these grants are being handed out by the local ANC councillor to local ANC supporters.
March 03, 2009 Edition 1
Natasha Prince
Source: Cape Argus

Guguletu’s social development department was forced to lock its gates when a group of residents arrived at the provincial offices yesterday to demand social grants.

The leadership of the area’s Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) arranged for about 50 residents to march peacefully from the Guguletu sports complex to the department yesterday in an attempt to put pressure on the government to assign more social relief grants to more residents. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Squatters ‘ready to die or fight’ for land

5 03 2009
March 04, 2009 Edition 1 (second edition below)
Source: Cape Argus

The Symphony Way pavement squatters have received court eviction orders to vacate the area, but say they are “ready and prepared to die or fight” for their right to proper housing.

About 20 police vehicles entered the little pavement community on Monday to deliver the notices.

Kylie Hatton from the City confirmed that the notices were served and that residents had 21 days to vacate. She said alternative accommodation had been offered to them in Blikkiesdorp, about half a kilometre down the street.

“Some people have already accepted the alternative accommodation and we will assist anyone who would like to accept the accommodation,” she said.

The 127 families, totalling about 300 people, decided to squat on the road in Delft next to the RDP houses they invaded a year ago in protest at the lack of housing.

Last week they marked a year of living on the pavement with a series of events.

The families have received court papers ordering them to appear in the Cape High court on March 20. But they have vowed to die on the pavement rather than move to the Temporal Relocation Area (TRA) provided by the government.

“We are ready and prepared to die for our land and rights,” said resident Lilian Jansen. The residents labelled the TRA a playground for criminals and rapists.

“I know someone who lost everything in the Blikkiesdorp (Tin Can Town)… they took everything. I don’t know why they want us to live there,” said Mathilda Groepe.

“They bring the entire Western Cape police force to deliver court orders… for what, we are not criminals, and they even put on their bullet-proof vests when they got here, like they were entering a battlefield.”

The Anti-Eviction Campaign’s Ashraf Cassiem said: “The TRA is not a reasonable alternative accommodation… we cannot and will not be moved anywhere that will disadvantage ourselves.” Read the rest of this entry »