Criminal Attack on shack settlement in Reservoir Hills
The Arnett Drive Settlement has been in Reservoir Hills since 1972. Many of the people living there came there after being evicted from Cato Manor in 1959 and then Newlands in 1971. Today they are under armed attack by the eThekwini Municipality that has its notorious Land Invasions Unit demolishing shacks. This attack is completely illegal (there is no court order, there was no warning, no documentation has been handed over etc, etc) and under the law it is not just illegal but criminal. If the rule of law is to be followed the Municipal offical who gave the order for this attack should be arrested immediately.
Liberation for the few – New Democracy in South Africa
Most residents are away at work and are only now rushing home to try and defend their homes or, if it is too late, to try and rescue what ever possessions may have survived the demolitions.
Abahlali from other settlements and lawyers are on the way too.
Arnett Drive residents Nosipho Mtshali (0713965981) and Zama Mhlongo (0794667052) are on the scene and can give comment.
S’bu Zikode, president of Abahlali baseMjondolo, is on 0835470474.
After they were roundly and internationally condemned for an entirely unprovoked and appalling violent police attack on a mass march on Obed Mlaba last year the Municipality offered to re-open negotiations with Abahlali after almost 3 years of sustained and often violent and illegal repression. Abahlali agreed to re-open negotiations if the City would suspend its then current attempt to illegally evict from Shannon Drive. Those evictions were stopped and a first meeting was held in good faith. But if the City’s first act of 2008 is a criminal attack on an Abahlali settlement it looks like we are unavoidably heading into another year of conflict. Expect mass action across the city, court battles and international mobilisation against the sickening racism of the Sydenham Police and what many are calling attempts to resegregate the city and to ‘ethniclly cleanse’ Reservoir Hills, Clare Estate and Sydenham. Expect international calls from the arrest of City officials responsible for giving orders for illegal and criminal attacks on the poorest citizens of the city. Durban’s shack dwellers resisted attempts to expell them from the city in the 1930s. They resisted in the 1950s. They resisted in the 1980s. They will resist now. The right to the city will be defended. Sutcliffe has struck a rock.