Media: Homeless mark ‘un-Freedom Day’

29 04 2009
April 28, 2009 Edition 1
Source: Cape Argus

2009_04_27 unFreedom Day

AS SOUTH Africans celebrated 15 years of democracy, the pavement dwellers of Symphony Way marked what they termed “un-Freedom Day”.

The families, facing eviction from the pavement they decided to occupy more than a year ago after being kicked out of newly-built houses destined for other families, yesterday hosted visitors from other informal settlements in Khayelitsha and Philippi, along with backyard dwellers from Guguletu.

“We decided to host this event because people say we are free, while we are not. If we are free, why are we living on a road and some people in shacks in informal settlements?” questioned Anti-Eviction Campaign spokeswoman Jane Roberts.

The small community of 127 families held a series of sporting events, and put on plays which reflected their lives.

“We have a netball team, and football teams here. We invited other teams from around Delft to come and play here,” Roberts said.

“The children put on a play which showed what happened when we were evicted from the houses, and when police came here to give us court orders.”

She said she was happy to see the children who live in Symphony Way having a day of play, just like normal children.

“It was nice seeing children playing and enjoying themselves.”

Aphiwe Mlandu, of Site B in Khayelitsha, said she decided to join the activities, because she too was not free.

“I might not be staying on a pavement, but I am in the same situation as the people of Symphony Way because I also live in a shack,” she said.

“The rain started last week already and we are living in fear. Some of us will have to leave our homes and stay with relatives for the rest of winter,” she said.


Argus: Non-voters make their mark – chilling, shopping and partying

29 04 2009
Zara Nicholson
Excerpt  from Cape Argus April 25, 2009 Edition 1

In Cavendish Square a packed mall saw people shopping, dining out and heading for the movies.

Kyle van Eck, 21, was spending election day “chilling” with his mother and his girlfriend.

“The elections just didn’t interest me this year. There wasn’t anything in it for me,” Van Eck said.

“The last time I did vote because it was the first time I was eligible to and that gave me a sense of purpose. But things were just too hectic in politics this year.”

Branwine Mohan, 26, of Wynberg, said she had not voted because politics did not interest her.

“I just think it’s a whole lot of bull****. Everyone is corrupt.”

Saeed Davids, 26, of Pinelands, was enjoying his day with his friends after a night on the town and said he could not vote because his ID had been stolen.

“I couldn’t use my passport, and Home Affairs is a mess, so I didn’t even want to go there to get my ID. If I could have used my passport for voting, I would have.

“I have never voted before because I wasn’t interested, but this time I wanted to have my say because I am taking life more seriously,” Davids said.

Waheeb Semaar, 26, also of Pinelands, said, “I didn’t vote because there is no one to trust – and I’m not going to vote for someone I don’t believe in. People might see no mark on my thumb and tell me I shouldn’t complain – but just as it is my right to vote, I also have a right not to vote. I do care, but I just don’t trust any politician, or believe in any of them.”

Shamil Joseph, 27, of Mowbray, said, “I didn’t vote because I don’t know much about politics. There is also too much corruption going on, so I don’t know what to believe.”