23 Nov 2010 | Michael Nkalane | Sowetan
RELATIONS between disgruntled Khayelitsha backyard dwellers and the Western Cape MEC for housing have completely broken down.
In a heated meeting at the weekend, Zalisile Mbali, spokesperson for human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, said Madikizela would no longer talk to the “Backyarders” because he saw them as “silly”.
“What is the point of entertaining silly people,” Mbali said.
The MEC’s tough stance is sure to worsen the situation in an area where locals protested last week after 100 people from other communities took over a newly-built housing development. The Mandela Park Backyarders Association later distanced itself from a fracas that erupted on the site where houses were vandalised. At the meeting angry residents accused two people of being spies for the DA.
“These iimpuku (mice) traitors are here armed with their recording cellphones to give Madikizela insight into our social movement. We know them and they are here now,” some residents claimed.
Backyarders chairperson Loyiso Mfuku slammed Madikizela, saying “even though the Backyarders distanced themselves from the violence employed by certain residents of Mandela Park, Madikizela still treats us as criminals, refusing to meet us to defuse the situation and intimidating our children [at a crèche]”.
Mbali said not everyone living at Mandela Park should expect to be given a house.
“Some people did not want to divulge how they got into Mandela Park. Now that the audit has been completed the MEC will see how to allocate houses to the needy.”