Backyarders Press Statement
On Friday 07 – 2011, at 7.30pm the Anti Land Invasion Unit arrived in Mandela Park threatening to demolish houses that people built themselves. They were confronted by devastated backyarders who demanded to know who instructed them. yjr ALI (Anti Land Invasion Unit), to conduct the operation. Mr. Willem from the Anti Land Invasion told a group of backyarders that Mrs. Kelly (Director General for Human Settlement) sent them to intimidate and demolish our houses. Backyarders demanded Mrs. Kelly cell number and Willem gave it to them. They called Mrs. Kelly on the scene and she denied saying she only instructed them to patrol.
As Backyarders we dismiss Mrs. Kelly’s instruction as rubbish because on the 07 march 2011 we have written a letter to the DHS that was intended to address the housing crisis in Mandela Park and we are still waiting for the DHS to respond but instead we get uninvited sheriffs threatening our very poor community members. Clearly God knows if Mrs. Kelly was playing dim about not knowing what is going on in Mandela Park .
As usual both the DA & DHS in the Western Cape was on its traditional campaign of human violations. These sheriffs came without any court order, they told us verbally that Mrs. Kelly sent them to Mandela Park. As backyarders we managed to block them and chased them out of our community. They threatened to return on Monday.
For the record we also contacted Mr. Stuart Pringle of Sub-council 10 about this conduct and he was not aware of the City decision to demolish people houses.
Our housing demolishing has come at the time when Backyarders are busy preparing a protest to the offices of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlement that will start on the Wednesday this week. We demand that the MEC for Western Cape Human Settlement respond to our demands and the demands of Abahlali baseMjondolo that he will not illegally demolish poor people’s houses again.
The campaign is part of the greater campaign organized by Abahlali Basemjondolo and other 15 communities in and around Western Cape to force the MEC to come out in public to admit his failure to deliver or resign as MEC for Human Settlement.
For more information
Khaya – 0780241683
Slu – 0736200781