MEC under siege over ‘false promise’

23 09 2009

23 September 2009
Anna Majavu – The Sowetan

Tenants await ‘their’ houses

Bonginkosi Madikizela

Bonginkosi Madikizela

NEW Western Cape housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela is on a collision course with backyard residents from Mandela Park in Khayelitsha.

The tenants have accused him of breaking a promise to give them houses in a new development.

But Madikizela has counter-accused residents of causing a R1million worth of damage to houses during a weekend protest.

About 23 people were arrested during the weekend protest and freed on Monday after the state withdrew its case and the residents’ attorney, Sharfudin Parker, laid charges against the police for unlawful arrest.
But a furious Madikizela yesterday visited the senior prosecutor at the Khayelitsha magistrate’s court to find out why the charges had been dropped. He said he would not rest until the alleged vandals had been punished.

Mandela Park resident Mabuti Mtyida told Sowetan that the protest was the

DISILLUSIONED: Backyard residents from Mandela Park in Khayelitsha are accusing Western Cape housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela of breaking a promise to give them houses at a new development. PHOTO: ANNA MAJAVU

DISILLUSIONED: Backyard residents from Mandela Park in Khayelitsha are accusing Western Cape housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela of breaking a promise to give them houses at a new development. PHOTO: ANNA MAJAVU

result of Madikizela’s promise at a public meeting a few weeks ago that he would give 20 of the 53 new houses to Mandela Park backyard dwellers.

The remaining 33 houses were to be handed over to backyard tenants from Gugulethu and Khayelitsha’s Site C.

Mtyida’s statement was backed by journalists who had attended the meeting.

Mtyida said there had been no use of petrol bombs whatsoever during the protest as alleged, and slammed the MEC for threatening residents’ rights to freedom of expression.

Victoria Balintuwa told Sowetan that she was forced to build shacks outside her small two-bedroom house to accommodate her family of five children and four grandchildren.

“I still have my sons with me in the backyard. We have these hokkies that catch fire. We expected our kids to be housed in Mandela Park because we don’t want them to stay far from us,” Balintuwa said.

Madikizela denied that he had ever promised backyarders houses.

“I explained that of the 53 houses recently completed, only 30 beneficiaries could be located. If the department failed to trace the beneficiaries Mandela Park backyarders would be considered,” he said.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape representative Mzonke Poni said: “Mandela Park backyarders have never benefitted from a single scheme in Mandela Park since they moved there 20 years ago. Residents should be consulted directly, and not through the ANC or Sanco,” Poni said.

Madikizela took over the MEC’s post after the elections this year. He worked as Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s media officer when she was mayor of Cape Town.

During this time he was the UDM’s Cape Town regional secretary but in September 2008 he was reportedly expelled for “moonlighting” for the DA.

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2 responses

23 09 2009
Biza

Biza (13:48:42) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

I am one of the khayelitsha backyarders and I believe that the leaders of our community ( the councillor and the minister) are misleading the people by prioritising their political affiliatians before service delivery to the people.

Minister madikizela must stop thinking that people are idiots just because he occupies a prominent post in government, he met with us ( the Backyarders and abakhabi) and agreed to solve the problems and outlined how he would do it,
yet again he went to our community radio and said otherwise ( two face). It was a disgrace to see to government leaders acting like 2yr old in a public gathering instead of working together in making the president and the people happy.

We understand that there is corruption ruling our goervnment and not that we do not acknowledge that but God help us we won’t sit and watch a cat fight between edults. I ask the minister of Human settlement honourable comrade Sexwale to intervene in this matter.

Ministester thetha inyani qabane……………

regards

Biza

25 09 2009
mabhuti

Just My point of View!
Letter to the MEC for Housing WC

NOTE: Mr MEC, Mandela Park has More than 8000 Backyarders not 23 or 53 or whatever number you play around with!

First and foremost I would like to extend a word of gratitude to all that supported us in our struggle with the state law machinery that attempted to lock 23 landless people of Mandela Park behind bars. For your information Mr MEC, with the power of the people’s movement those comrades have subsequently been released with all the charges against them dropped. However there is still a cloud hanging because you have threatened to re-instate the charges. No one knows really how you are going to pull that one off because even your “trusted cops” are sick and tired of having to clean up the politicians’ mess after every service delivery protest. You and your political buddies fail to deliver basic services to the people, break promises made at election time and when the people uprise, the poor under-paid policemen has to run around chasing the so called “vandals”. I would suggest that you Mr MEC build decent houses for the police as well, because some of them are in fact Mandela Park Backyarders; maybe you will have a better chance that way!

Branding people Vandals and Hooligans will not help either. You have been quoted in the media saying that “you will stop at nothing to ensure that the full force of the law will have to be applied to bring those vandals to book”; well thats such a noble thought Mr MEC! Let me remind you sir that: THE PEOPLE OF MANDELA PARK WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO ENSURE THAT THE FULL FORCE OF MASS MOBILISATION WILL BE APPLIED TO BRING POWER BACK TO THE PEOPLE!

In the very same media you have again been economical with the truth (I’m not mentioning anything about those dreaded 23 houses you “NEVER PROMISED” to the people of Mandela Park who have been waiting for more than 2 decades to get decent shelter. I’m sure the number 23 is starting to give you nightmares). You have been quoted as saying that only last week you met with Mandela Park back yarders to explain whatever you explained about those 23 houses you “NEVER PROMISED”. Well…Mandela Park starts from section 19 to section 23 (that number again!) and no one has seen you here since that day you “NEVER PROMISED 23 HOUSES” in July…Oh wait, some people caught a glimpse of you here checking out the 46, is it 49? or 40? whatever.. “petrol bombed” houses at “R 1million worth of damage” (wow,I didn’t know anyone could that accurate in estimation by just looking around at a few broken windows and burnt walls). An old lady of the community and some snorty little boys said you came around here with 23 Body guards! I was not there when the one house was being torched, but on lookers tell me that a group of young boys used “23” pieces of timber to set it on fire. I’m sure you MISUNDERSTOOD that then for petrol bombs, just like the Mandela Park Backyarders MISUNDERSTOOD you about the 23 houses YOU PROMISED!

A humble little word of advice honorable MEC: just come to Mandela Park and explain that we MISUNDERSTOOD you the last time you “NEVER PROMISED” ANY HOUSES, YOU ONLY PROMISED THAT THE BACKYARDERS WILL BE “CONSIDERED” JUST IN CASE THERE ARE 23 HOUSES THAT HAVE BENEFICIARIES FROM SITE C OR GUGULETHU THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS UNABLE TO TRACE SINCE THE 53 HOUSES ALL HAD ALREADY BEEN ALLOCATED (phew!confusing isnt it?). Basically you claim you said that you came to Mandela Park and told 3000 desperate and angry people that there are 53 houses, 30 people have been traced already all from Gugulethu and Site C and the BackYarders of Mandela Park must Pray like Hell that you do not trace the other 23 beneficiaries so that they will then be considered? BULLSHIT! Otherwise you would not have left that hall in one piece!

Please get back to me so I can organise you 8000 Bodyguards the nextime you come around.

Concerned BackYarder,
Mabhuti




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