Shack folk: What about us?

2013-12-11 00:00

WHILE millions of people marked the life of former president Nelson Mandela yesterday, Abahlali baseMjondolo shack dwellers’ movement held protests against the lack of “housing Mandela promised to all”.

Shack dwellers started their protest on Monday in the Cato Crest and Cato Manor, which was a Special Integrated Presidential node identified during Mandela’s tenure as president.

The movement’s leader Sbu Zikode said they met at the weekend to discuss how they can honour the fallen icon. Mandela gave legal support to the Sofasonke movement, a shack dwellers’ movement, he said.

“Mandela stood for one nation but political leaders in Durban say the reason why they can’t house the people is because they are from Eastern Cape. They say that some of our neighbours and comrades must go back to Lusikisiki,” he said.

But other residents of Cato Manor believe that paying tribute should be peaceful, and have organised a church service to pay their respects.

Councillor Mpume Chamane, who was leading the area when it was declared a presidential node, said their tribute would be all about praying for the Mandela family and the ANC.

“Lives of the people in the area are better than before. And we acknowledged challenges that are still there. Mandela ensured that people got their dignity back,” said Chamane.

Zikode said Mandela announced that there would be homes for all but today there are only houses for ANC members.

He said since Mandela fought for justice, democracy and freedom for all, the poor should not be excluded. Zikode pledged to remain committed to Mandela’s vision.

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