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Residents to boycott elections over houses

By Moses Mackay | May 17, 2011 | COMMENTS [ 14 ]

HUNDREDS of people living in back-yards in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, said they would not vote in tomorrow' elections and accused police of brutality.

The large group occupied a piece of vacant land in Tafelsig on Saturday and built about 2500 shacks, saying they had been on the waiting list for many years.

But police opened fire on them with rubber bullets and sprayed the crowd - which included pregnant women and pensioners - with tear-gas.

"We have been on the waiting list for between 16 and 30 years," an elderly woman said.

A man sustained serious injury when he was shot in the eye. Resident Ismail Abrahams was also injured and admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital. Twelve other people were arrested.

Yesterday, people were busy re-building their shacks after an incident on Saturday.

Police, accompanied by several ambulances, gathered near the area. Sympathetic residents from Khayelitsha and ZilleRaine Heights, about 20kilometres away, came to give their support.

Back-yard dweller Faizel Lee, whose family and four others were staying in a big tent, said they would not vote in the local government elections tomorrow.

"Both the DA and the ANC have failed to address our housing crisis. We have decided not to vote," he said.

Lee, a father of three, said the ANC and DA had visited on Saturday and gave them food, which only showed that they were trying to buy their votes.

Terence Hoskins said he was also beaten by police armed with batons and that he had suffered injuries to his body.

Hoskins said they had been told by city officials that though there was land, there was no money to build houses.

Mastera Collop of the NGO Women of Action in Tafelsig, said people were tired of false promises and had decided to build their houses in the area.

"Residents will fight for their rights until the bitter end," Collop said.

She said that they were not happy about the situation and have threatened to disrupt tomorrow's elections.

ANC mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich was set to visit the area today to persuade the group to vote ANC. The withdrawal of hundreds of voters in Mitchells Plain would be a blow to the DA as this area is one of their strongholds.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Rulleska Singh said 18 people had been injured but defended the police's shooting of pregnant women.

"Yesterday some of the occupants on the land were using women and children as human shields.

"Law enforcement officers were also attacked with bricks and stones, necessitating the use of a water cannon and rubber bullets" Singh said.

She said the city had plans to build houses on that land and would not allow land invasions.

COMMENTS [ 14 ]

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I THOUGHT CAPETOWN AND SARROUDINGS WAS THE BEST....

May 17, 2011 8:53 | 0 replies

These people are crazy! There is nothing for mahhala! I worked very hard for my house. I did not get it free of charge!You want the govt to use our tax money for loafers like you? Nah!GET A LIFE PEOPLE!

May 17, 2011 5:37 | 0 replies

What the ANC does not tell you:
youtube.com/watch?v=UFDfYJdRZfM

May 17, 2011 3:24 | 0 replies

Go vote boycotting election it means that your happy you dont need change we will need to educate our people that we are in charge to make changes in our life..

May 17, 2011 3:6 | 0 replies

thambzo - 10 people unhappy is very good.

How many thousands of people were protesting in ANC provinces?

May 17, 2011 2:0 | 0 replies

thambzo - Those organisations are run by ANC cadres.

Remeber the 'organisation on top' sent to investigate the Armsdeal? It will headed by chief armsdeal corruptur Jacob Zuma himself. Guess what he said?

"There is no corruption in the armsdeal"

Anyways, the DA had Cape Town for just over two years. The DA builds 7,000 RDP houses a year, where the ANC only built 3,000 a year. These people are now invading property intended for RDP houses.


No matter what you say, these people are better off in a DA operated province. If they were in an ANC province, things would have been far worse for them.

May 17, 2011 1:55 | 0 replies

i thought were there is DA, there is a proper & fast service delivery. So if you can't handle 10 people, what will you do with 30 of them( uncompetent in one province, what bout 9 of them). Even if DA takes over, we will still suffer. they are not better as they say. we should have some porganisation on top looking at what govenrment is doing.

May 17, 2011 11:22 | 0 replies

Nice how the ANC is focusing ALL its attention on the WC and not the rest of the country. The DA has had the best results in the country a fact confirmed by national government reports. If the ANC only concentrated on the service delivery issues across the country and did their jobs properly then maybe the peopl of theb WC would take notice. But the ANC has neglected the whole country and only points fingers at the WC co it is the only province not in ruin. like it or not the WC has been given a clean governance report form the ANC government. NO other province, all ANC led, can say the same.

May 17, 2011 10:40 | 0 replies

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May 17, 2011 10:29 | 0 replies

Lets see what the madam will do about this

May 17, 2011 10:18 | 0 replies

@GROOVI - JST LIKE ZILLE SAID. SHE SAID SHE IMPROVED SERVICE DELIVERY 2X THAN WHT ANC DID. WHAT IS THE TRUTH HERE ACTUALLY.

ZILLE STOP LYING MAN
WETHER U LIKE IT OR NOT, AND WILL WIN, SO STOP MAKING URSELF THE RESCUERER, SHAME ON U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOPE THESE PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY DESERVE WHICH IS THEIR HOUSES

May 17, 2011 9:30 | 0 replies