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Social movements

South Africa: Police illegally destroy homes on Symphony Way

2008-10-10, Issue 401

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On Saturday 4th afternoon, the Symphony Way community was once again invaded by about 15 police officers from the city's notorious Land Invasions Unit. This time, they attempted to illegally destroy a resident's home without a court order and without the permission of the City.

On Saturday 4th afternoon, the Symphony Way community was once again invaded by about 15 police officers from the city's notorious Land Invasions Unit. This time, they attempted to illegally destroy a resident's home without a court order and without the permission of the City.

Under the direction of Loot Petersen, the Unit proceeded to destroy residents home. Even though it is clearly illegal to evict anyone without a court order, the Land Invasions Unit does this all over South Africa on a regular basis. Still, the people committing these illegal acts are never charged.

This incident was no different. When the police arrived, the Anti Eviction Campaign immediately called Mzwandile Sokupa (the City of Cape Town's Manager of Informal Settlements) to inquire as to whether or not he had authorised the eviction. Mr. Sokupa then spoke directly to Mr. Petersen.

However, despite this, Mr. Petersen and his unit went ahead an demolished the shack.

The AEC is now calling for the immediate firing of Mr Loot Petersen for his illegal and immoral action on Friday. It is unjustifiable for any law enforcement official to circumvent the courts and take the law into their own hands.

The AEC would also like to point out that Mr. Petersen has also been accused numerous times of corruption when selling government built shacks in the nearby Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) aptly dubbed 'Blikkiesdorp'. It therefore makes sense that Mr. Petersen would go to great lengths to intimidate and evict residents of Symphony Way in order to force them into Blikkiesdorp where he stands to make a quick buck.

Within an hour after the home was demolished, residents had already come together and collectively rebuilt the home.

Symphony Way's defiant – though traumatised residents – will remain united!

For comment, call Ashraf at 076 1861 408 and Auntie Jane at 078 4031 302

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