South Africa: Human Rights Commission asked to look into post-apartheid forced removal

re posted from                                GROUND UP

Human Rights Commission asked to look into post-apartheid forced removal

255 people live in dire circumstances in “Soweto” in Mthatha after they were forcefully relocated in 2012

| By Mkhuseli Sizani and Hoseya Jubase

Photo of a man climbing out of a hovel

Sandile Mngweba, 61, crawls out of his hovel in Soweto informal settlement in Mthatha. He says since his eviction in 2012, “life has been difficult for me. … For all these years I have been crawling like a dog into this dog kennel of mine.” All photos: Mkhuseli Sizani

  • Since their eviction from their shacks in 2012, the community of Soweto informal settlement, Mthatha, has lived in dire conditions.
  • They say their lives were destroyed and they have never recovered after the Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality forcefully relocated them.
  • The community says no help has been forthcoming from the municipality.
  • Most survive by scrounging for food in bins or waste picking for recyclables.
  • They have taken their case to the South African Human Rights Commission.

Over 250 residents of Soweto informal settlement in Mthatha have taken the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality (KSD) to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), they say, for subjecting them to inhumane living conditions.

They also allege that the municipality duped them into believing they would get RDP houses.

The community lives in squalor, mostly in 15 bungalows in and around an old mechanical workshop. They live by scavenging for food in dirt bins and waste picking for recycling.

The residents are the remnants of a much bigger eviction carried out in May 2012. They say they were evicted illegally from Tipini, an old dumpsite near Waterfall Park. Some had been living there for decades. Their shacks were demolished by the municipality and then torched by neighbouring Waterfall Park residents.

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