Media invitation: Come see proof of RDP houses being bought and sold in Mandela Park

25 November 2010

Mandela Park Backyarders invite the media to see firsthand the corruption in the Provincial Department of Human Settlements development in Mandela Park.

Five Mandela Park Backyarders to appear in court today for ‘trespassing’.

Corruption:

We invite the media to see firsthand proof of pervasive corruption in the Provincial housing development in Mandela Park. When Madikizela organised for ‘beneficiaries’ to pre-maturely move into RDP houses with the support of the police and the army last week, a large number of the houses (maybe half) were occupied illegally by people who were not the beneficiaries at all. We even saw people coming with the Ward Councillor from Town Two with shopping-carts full of belongings – they were given houses in this development.

As Backyarders, we have now identified many of the occupants of the new RDP houses who are inside because they have either bought or are now renting the houses from people with political connections. We have proof that they have no title deeds and that they paid for/rent these houses. We would like to show this proof to media (and if they actually care, to government officials as well). People in the houses are willing to testify.

We believe that the corruption is organised by the defunct SANCO in Mandela Park with the support of the Ward 97 Councillor. They are illegally selling and renting these houses.We  have seen that some SANCO members even got their own houses in this development.

Police repression:

Five Backyarders, all women, will appear in Khayelitsha Magistrates Court (#2) this morning apparently on charges of tresspassing. According to our reports, they were not found in the act but were found walking along the street nearby some of the unfinished RDP houses that MEC Madikizela is trying to give to anyone except residents of Mandela Park.

This is part of a larger crackdown on Backyarders in Mandela Park. In the past few weeks, we have had our right to assembly undermined, been threatened, chased, falsely accused and arrested. Why?

A police investigator at Harare Police Station told why when one of our members were arrested earlier this week. He said that Nathi Mthethwa, the Minister of Police, had recently come to the station and had put them under a lot of pressure to ‘deal with’ the criminal Backyarders in Mandela Park and resolve the situation.

So apparently, when our mass meeting was closed down by 11 police vehicles last week, this was with the blessing of Minister Mthethwa. When the police commissioner said that his orders ‘came from the top’, he was not exaggerating.

As poor people merely fighting for the houses we deserve, we ask: why, when we request Madikizela’s presence, he calls us ‘silly’ and we get police repression and arrests instead.

For more information please contact

Khaya @ 078 024 1683
Zuki @ 071 481 1745
Luvo @ 073 227 5734

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