Solidarity: Popular Gugulethu butchery to seek interdict against mall developers in Cape High Court tomorrow

12 03 2009

Note: SS Skhoma butchery faces eviction from the site it has occupied for 25 years. Mzoli Properties, Old Mutual and West Side Trading have applied for an eviction order against the butchery saying it is holding up the Gugulethu mall from being completed. But Skhoma SS butchery has decided to interdict the mall developers, arguing that they should have been given a chance to buy the land themselves.

For comment: SS Skhoma butchery owner Thandiswa Kama on 082 4958652
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Press release by SS SKhomas Butchery CC

Thandiswa Kama and Noluthando Koyana, sisters and owners of SS Skhoma’s Butchery CC would like to respond to the recent articles concerning our small business as follows:
“Let us state from the onset that the development of the shopping mall was not opposed at all by the small Gugulethu businesses, like ours, who saw in it an opportunity to become part of a great economic progress. The problem is that as the facts of this development emerged, it became clear that the business interests of the small businesses were peripheral to it. In fact, on the foundations of this shopping mall are the ruins of small businesses, which were destroyed through lies and deceitful schemes, hatched through opaque processes, carefully hidden away from the eyes of those that were targeted.

This development has undermined a valuable business infrastructure in the Gugulethu Township in a manner most foul. Empty promises such as a secured five percent shareholding in the development scheme were dangled like the proverbial carrot before us enticing us to either surrender our parent’s life work or face the threat of forced removal,  demolition order and the nuisance caused by the frustrating dust of screaming construction work.

It has amazed us just to what depths these powers are prepared to stoop to profit from the sale and development of land that they originally agreed to sell to us. The same land that they bought from the City of Cape Town for eleven Rand forty cents and which they used to betray us by selling it, enriched by our parents’ monetary, infrastructural and entrepreneurial sacrifice, for six million Rand to a consortium of developers of which they form part.

All of their decisions to buy and to sell and to terminate our very existence were taken by these powers, who paused only briefly to contemplate what action they could next take to ensure our silent departure, with recourse to a process devoid of any form of meaningful consultation shrouded by the smoke of corporate board rooms and the veil of corporate secrecy.

It is significant that these powers have now only emerged after we, assisted by Advocate Thabani Masuku decided to launch a High Court application citing them as Respondents, which is set down for Thursday the 12th of March, 2009. They have now tried to change the playing field by challenging us in the press. We embrace this because in the light of publicity the truth comes out. They have chosen, in their coming out, to remain dishonest. They underestimate the great power of the readers who will easily see through the empty promise of a target of twenty five percent of local labour and will notice that companies, tenants and workers foreign to Gugulethu will take the largest slice of the pie.  The reader will notice how wealthy these powers already are and will think why the rich are resorting to this cumbersome method to evict, to defame and to crush the poor.  The truth is that we are doing what the people of Gugulethu have become accustomed to. We are standing up for our rights against these powerful forces because we believe that right will prevail.

We find it sad that whilst the post – Apartheid government promised, through Economic empowerment to lift Gugulethu from the ashes, the wings of our aspirations are being clipped on the altar of self-interest.”

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