10 April 2015
About 100 supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched around Khayelitsha calling on backyard dwellers to occupy land belonging to private owners.
‘Let’s build our Nkandla Azania here in Khayelitsha’ was the main message from the EFF to backyarders. The march started on Lansdowne Road, went to Spine Road and back on Ntlazane Road to Site C, Nkandla, Azania area.
Leading the march was EFF member Xolani Jack from TR Informal Settlement. He said more people must occupy the open parcels of land in Khayelitsha.
“This is our Azania and we won’t tolerate cops who want to take our land. We will continue with our fight,” Jack told the crowed next to Lookout Hill. “This is all our land, from TR up to here,” he said.
An open space in Bongweni was identified for occupation. Occupiers have already marked out plots there with sticks.
EFF member Khuliswa Nondala, who led the occupation of land, said it is time government understood that people needed houses. “This so-called private land has been there for years and no one is using it … As EFF we are just doing what people want. We fight with [for] them,” she said.
Nondala said they will continue with their protest and mobilisation until people get what they want.
Lingelethu police escorting EFF illegal march in Khayelitsha A-Section. Photo by Nombulelo Damba.
At least three police vans and a nyala escorted the marchers who sang struggle songs. However, later, Western Cape police spokesperson Thembinkosi Kinana said his office had no knowledge of a march.
After eight hours of marching, the marchers were addressed by Menzi Manyonga. He said they are not going to leave the Nkandla Azania land; they will stay there, raining or not.
“We will stay here and the police won’t stop us,” he added.
He said the EFF is consulting lawyers to fight the court order which led to the occupiers being evicted. He asked for at least 20 occupiers to accompany him to the Western Cape High Court on Friday.
The occupation started on Sunday. On Wednesday, around 75 shacks were evicted from the privately owned land. The eviction resulted in the looting of Shoprite and some Somali-owned shops. One municipality car was set alight allegedly by EFF members on Mew Way.