Angry foreigners warn Dudula
With only seven days to go before the deadline for the supposed removal of the informal settlements said to harbour criminal in Pimville and Kliptown, Soweto director for the mayoral committee Mabine Seabe said the mayor has engaged the MMC for housing to find a lasting solution for the community.
This comes after angry Soweto residents tossed an ultimatum at Police Minister Bheki Cele on 28 April in Pimville during a ministerial street imbizo, where he engaged residents address the issue of identified crimes and policing concerns.
Seabe said the government was committed to addressing the city’s housing backlog, but that would not happen on a “whim but with planning and within the available budget”.
However, residents of Chicken Farm and Maseru informal settlements and the Goudkopies landfill dumping site said they were not going anywhere until the government built proper houses for them.
According to a Chicken Farm resident, who wanted to remain anonymous following a community meeting yesterday morning, residents were also planning to retaliate against those who were waging war against them.
“The residents are ready for war,” the resident said.
They said they would not be bullied by people who fail to hold their government responsible for corruption and failure to deliver services.
“I don’t want to say too much but let us hope that they will be able to stand for what they have started, because after today’s meeting they are also angry and ready for war.”
Another resident, only known as Thamoethata and possibly a leader of the community, said the residents were told to stay put and relax, as “nothing would happen to them as long as he’s still alive”.
He said: “We’re not illegally occupying anyone’s house, we’re here on a land that was abandoned to create a home for our kids. Until then government gives us houses like the mayor said, we’re not going anywhere.”
Operation Dudula leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Mohlauli previously told Cele and Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse to get rid of those informal settlements within a month, or “we’ll do it ourselves … and you’ll have to dig plenty of graves afterwards.”
He said then if the settlements were still there on Sunday [29 May], “you might as well prepare a mass funeral because we’re going all out, guns blazing”.
A Pimville resident, Thabang Moloi, also told Cele the police had 30 days to close the informal settlements after accusing the people living there of perpetrating crimes, including cable theft and drug manufacturing following the death a cable theft-related shooting which claimed the life of resident Kgomotso Diale.
Meanwhile neither Mohlauli nor any Dudula Movement member said anything regarding the ultimatum.