eThekwini mayor snubs 'angry' Abahlali shack dwellers

2017-06-26 17:31
Abahlali baseMjondolo march to the Durban City Hall demanding an end to evictions. (Supplied)

Abahlali baseMjondolo march to the Durban City Hall demanding an end to evictions. (Supplied)

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Durban – eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede snubbed thousands of shack dwellers who had wanted to hand over their memorandum of grievances to her personally on Monday.

Abahlali baseMjondolo general secretary Thapelo Mohapi told News24 that their members became agitated when they realised that Gumede had snubbed them.

The movement led thousands of shack dwellers through the streets of Durban to the City Hall earlier on Monday, with the hope of handing over their memorandum to the mayor.

"She did not even send a representative from her office to take our memorandum. Our people were angry. Some even wanted to force their way into the City Hall," said Mohapi.

Mohapi said the march was sparked by the recent "repression and evictions" allegedly conducted by the eThekwini Municipality.

He said they wanted an immediate end to evictions.

"When Gumede took office last year, we were promised a new era in the City’s relationship with its impoverished residents. We asked for, and were promised, an end to evictions and repression," Mohapi said.

'Illegal evictions'

He said the evictions had taken place in the past few weeks in informal settlements around Durban.

"We have seen the return of armed, violent and illegal evictions across the city. We have seen the killing of a two-week-old baby, Jayden Khoza," he said.

Mohapi said, on June 13, the movement lost another member, Samuel Hloele, in eMansenseni, Marianhill, during a violent eviction. 

"Others were seriously injured. All our efforts to engage the mayor on these matters are either falling on deaf ears or we are lied to," he said.

It’s not clear how the memorandum got to Gumede, but her spokesperson Mthuzi Gumede confirmed, in an email, that they had received the memorandum.

When News24 tried to contact him, both his phones were off, however, he replied through his email.

"The office of the mayor has received a memorandum from Abahlali (baseMjondolo) and we will study it and respond accordingly," he said

Captain Nqobile Gwala said police were at the scene to monitor the situation. 

"No incidents of violence were reported," she said.

Read more on:    zandile gumede  |  durban  |  protests

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