Cape Town: two anti-eviction campaigners jailed for a year

Anti-Eviction Campaign Office, Symphony Way Occupation, Delft, Cape Town

On Wednesday, July 2nd at the Bellville Magistrates Court courtroom E, two members of the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign, Jerome Daniels and Ridwaan Isaacs, were each sentenced twelve months in prison - simply for being community leaders at Delft-Symphony Way settlement.

The movement, and other militant movements in South Africa considers Daniels and Isaacs to be political prisoners and is mobilising support on this basis.

The Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) is the oldest of South Africa's militant urban movements and has faced considerable state repression over the years. The movement is noted for its direct action style militancy and its militant refusal of the authority of the NGO left.

Jerome Daniels and Ridwaan Isaacs are militants in the Symphony Road occupation in Delft that, together with the mass refusal of residents in the Joe Slove shack settlements to accepted forced removal out of the city, has thrown the city's anti-poor housing policy into crisis.

They were arrested some time ago in the charge of malicious damage to property after they destroyed a tent belonging to another resident in the occupation. The AEC admitted to destroying the tent. When the Symphony Road occupation was first achieved a founding principle was that anyone who was violent against other members would have to leave. The community took a collective decision to take down the tent after an incident of violence.

During the trial the Magistrate kept saying that the AEC needed to be taught a lesson and admitted that there were no evidence placing the accused at the scene. He said that they had to be found guilt as they were leaders.

In South Africa the state unlawfully evicts shack dwellers from their home everyday yet neither the police or the city officials are ever charged for these actions that are criminal in South African law. Yet when a community takes a collective decision to expel a violent person community leaders are sent to prison for a year....

To support the prisoners contact the AEC via their website at http://antieviction.org.za/

Posted By

red jack
Jul 5 2008 11:52

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