Mandela Park Backyarders Press Release
Yesterday, DA Branch Chairperson attempted to murder two Backyarders and DA Branch Secretary assaulted another Backyarder. Both DA members have had their charges white-washed and have now been released.
We have first-hand accounts by Backyarders, police, and independent witnesses showing political interference by DA heavyweights in cases of murder and assault by DA members.
See full story below:
The Destruction of our homes
Around 09h30 yesterday, the MEC for Housing Bonginkosi Madikizela, came with police and the Anti-Land Invasions Unit. No one consulted with anyone in the community. They came without warning, without the necessary court documents, and destroyed brick houses and shacks in section 20-21 of Mandela Park.
As most community members were at work, we were all caught by surprise. We were not able to mobilise and oppose the destruction of our homes.
We built these homes from our own small salaries. We did not get any subsidies or handouts from government and we only built these houses because government has failed to provide us with houses they promise us each time there are elections.
Why does government destroy houses that we build and force us to live in shacks without dignity?
By 13h00, all 5 brick houses and 4 shacks were demolished along with a few cement foundations of other houses. The said reason for the demolition is that the land is owned by the government. However, this land is unused and unoccupied and there are no plans to do anything with the land. Therefore it should be the right of homeless and poor residents to uplift themselves by building their own houses on the land. They should give us the land and let us build our own houses (that would save them subsidy money that they say they don’t have).
All media should note that :
- Many of the homes were occupied and therefore the eviction without a court order is in contravention of the PIE Act making Madikizela’s actions criminal.
- The destruction of private property of poor community members is also a criminal act. The authorities made no attempt to remove the material on the land. They instead destroyed everything. Community members have lost their entire savings – hundreds of thousands of rands yesterday.
It is a criminal contradiction that the authorities protect the abundant property of the rich and destroy the scarce property of the poor.
Hundreds of Backyarders protest the demolition of their houses
At around 18h00, the Mandela Park community gathered at Andile Nhose community hall to discuss the illegal demolition earlier in the day. Community members decided to take to the streets in a spontaneous demonstration protesting against the actions by Madikizela and the government.
We were saying: Kwanele! Enough is genoeg! Hundreds were toyi-toying and singing struggle songs because we seem to still be stuck in the apartheid past.
However, the community which was toyi-toying, suddenly heard the sound of the gunshots nearby and ran. They did not know who was shooting until much later.
DA members attempt to murder Backyarders
During the demonstration, two delegates from the Backyarders, Mr Solomon and Mr Yanga, were sent to DA branch chairperson named Mxolisi Molly. They were sent to collect money that was fundraised by Backyarders when Molly was still a member of the Backyarders. Molly invited them into his house but on the way to his house, Molly took out a gun and began shooting at the two delegates who ran for cover. Mr Molly gave chase to Mr Yanga (one of the delegates) shooting at him but missing. Molly then found the other delegate, Mr Solomon, who was hiding and smashed him over the head with his gun and repeatedly shot in the air while beating Solomon to a pulp.
When police arrived at the scene, Molly was taken into custody together with Mr Solomon, the complainant.
Mr Solomon was released and Mr Molly was then charged with attempted murder (case# 784/02/2011). But two hours later, Molly was released and the charge was changed to common assault and he was released on a warning to appear on the 7th of February.
Apparently, General Goss from Site B Police Station gave instructions to Colonial Abrahams to study the case and Abrahams went to Harare Police Station and compelled Cpt Kaloli to change the case to common assault.
We know who gave General Goss instructions to change the charge against Mr Molly. It was Madikizela. Madikizela arrived at Harare Police Station at 01h00 today to secure the release on police bail of Mr. Molly .
Also yesterday evening, Ward Councillor Ryder Mkutswana arrived at Harare Police Station yesterday evening to collect Mr. Molly’s gun even though the gun is part of the evidence of attempted murder. His request was denied. A policeman told us the gun and empty cartridges are still at the police station but we don’t know for how long. We also don’t know why Ryder, an ANC councillor, is helping violent DA members. However we suspect that in Mandela Park, the ANC and DA both fear the Backyarders so much that they are willing to work together to destroy our movement and the livelihoods of our members.
Government officials are meant to work for all the people.
They should not be taking sides in party politics and interfering in the judicial process. However, in Mandela Park, there is no separation of politics and governance. The DA and the ANC both interfere in the development process in order to support their own members and political agendas.
Come see the evidence for yourselves
The Mandela Park community will be calling an urgent mass meeting to discuss the need to take down Madikizela today at 14h00 at Andile Nhose Community Hall.
We invite all supporters of the Backyarders and all media to come and talk to us. We have evidence of wrong-doing and interference by politicians including Madikizela. There are even police officers in Harare police station who have spoken to us about the corruption and interference with regard to this case. They may be willing to speak to journalists on a condition of anonymity.
Politicians in South Africa seem always to have the power to have a get out of jail free card. This happens all the time during repression against social movements. ANC Branch Chairperson Jackson Gumede and ANC Councillor Yakoob Baig have secured the release of many violent ANC members in Kennedy Road and in Lacy Road in Durban.
At time of writing, DA heavyweight Mnqasela Malizole has just walked into Harare Police Station to secure the release of Nosipho Magcoba on separate charges of assault of another Backyarder named Funeka. It is widely known that Nosipho Magcoba is having an affair with Madikizela.
For more information and details of the case, please contact us:
Loyiso Mfuku @ 073 766 2078
Luzuko Solomon @ 073 966 2188
Mr. Yanga @ 073 919 6592
Funeka @ 073 909 8710
—Maybe we should no longer call this place Mandela’s Park. Maybe we are in Mubarak’s Egypt. And Madikizela is the new dictator here. Maybe we also need to make Mandela Park ungovernable until Madikizela relinquished power.