Eviction sparks violence

A Khayelitsha house was petrol bombed and burning barricades were erected as angry residents of E Section protested against the eviction of a family.

Three security guards, who were inside the Mncedisi Street house after the sheriff of the court had executed an eviction notice, struggled to extinguish the fire after the petrol bomb struck the front window. With the help of concerned neighbours the fire was put out.

Minutes earlier, three youths, accompanied by Abahlali baseMjondolo leader Mzonke Poni, were seen collecting glass bottles and a can of petrol in preparation for the attack on the house, ostensibly to force the security guards to come outside.

Earlier, about 200 people, many youths, gathered in nearby Makhabeni Road where they set alight tyres and rubbish. Teenagers in the crowd toyi-toyed and chanted slogans. Buses and mini-bus taxis were forced to use alternative routes.

Owner of the house, Nomachina Magodla said she had been served an eviction notice after her husband defaulted on payment of a loan he had taken.

“My husband worked for Transnet and, before he was dismissed, he borrowed money from them. I thought the loan had been repaid, but later learnt that it was not so,” she said.

A notice of sale in execution had been filed with the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court in November last year, and in February this year she was notified of the eviction.

“My parents lived here since 1984 and, when they went to the Eastern Cape, they left the house for me and my husband. I’ve got five children and two grandchildren. I’m jobless and have nowhere to go,” Magodla said.

Her family’s belongings had been carried from the house on to the pavement. Angry residents vowed to return the belongings and shouted at the security guards to leave.

One of the youths involved in the petrol bomb incident threw rocks at the house.

Before the attack, Poni and three others approached the guards, who refused to talk or come out. Later, while burning barricades were erected about 20 metres from Magodla’s house, Poni and two young men took up a position opposite the house. Moments later, glass shattered as a petrol bomb hit the house.

After Poni and the others fled, a resident who did not want to give her name said: “Where must Nomachina’s family sleep tonight? What about her children? This is very upsetting. All we are saying as residents is that if that family is not back in their house tonight we will take over.”

Anti-Eviction Campaign leader Mncedisi Twalo said there had been ten evictions in Khayelitsha yesterday and about 100 over the past month. He said the AEC was informed about Magodla’s eviction yesterday morning and came to offer support.

“The sooner the security guards move out of her house, the better, because we are also concerned about their safety, as the people are angry and will not stop protesting. Noma-china is a a mother of children. There is not need for her to suffer like this,” he said.

The area was quiet late last night. – Cape Times


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