Following on from previous libcom coverage, South African police opened fire on Delft residents defending their homes from unlawful evictions.
The High Court upheld Thubelisha Homes and the state’s eviction order against the community, which the residents decided to appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
Last night, about 1000 people, including heavily pregnant women, children, babies and all the activists in the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, occupied the Symphony Road in Delft. The huge group slept on the road all night and are vowing to remain on the road, blocking the area, until the appeal, which will hopefully be today.
As residents and activists began to occupy the road, however, the police opened fire from close range resulting in 20 residents having been injured and rushed to hospital, including the three children. Police brought an estimated 55 dogs into the confrontation as well.
Peoples’ furniture has been almost totally destroyed as police go out of their way to trash it instead of removing it in an orderly fashion. Police are now also trying to drive all the residents off the site away from their furniture. Though Anti-Eviction Campaign co-ordinators have told the police that there is another legal case pending and that they have no authority to evict until the legal process is exhausted, police having been continuing to carry out unlawful evictions against the residents of Delft.
The community has nowhere else to go since all those who occupied the houses in the first place were either backyard dwellers, with no security of tenure in the backyards they were renting, or homeless.
Once the appeal is lodged in the SCA, the group will return to the houses which they consider to be rightfully theirs, having been on the waiting list for 20 years and having been promised this specific group of houses by countless numbers of politicians seeking votes and community's approval for the N2 Gateway project.
For further updates on the story as they happen anyone interested can view the website of the Western Cape Anti-eviction Campaign.