South Africa: Five more members of Landless People’s Movement arrested

The crackdown on the Landless People’s Movement in Johannesburg continues. Two LPM militants have been killed in recent days and, following the arrest of five people last night, ten are currently in prison.

Friday, 04 June 2010
Landless People’s Movement Press Statement

The Attack on the Landless People’s Movement Continues
Five More People have Been Arrested in Protea South

Last night the police went from door to door with an informer in the shacks of Protea South, Soweto. They arrested five members of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM). Three of the people that they arrested are children of Maureen Mnisi, chairperson of the LPM in Gauteng. The other two are her neighbours.

Since the current wave of repression began when the LPM was attacked in Protea South by the Homeowner’s Association on 23 May 2010 two people have been killed. One was shot dead by the Homeowner’s Association in Protea South and one was shot dead by the police in eTwatwa. Other people have been beaten, shot, arrested and threatened with having their homes burnt down. Two people have had their homes burnt down in eTwatwa. There are now seven LPM members in jail in Protea South and thee LPM members in jail in eTwatwa.

The police have promised that they will make more arrests soon. They said that the five people arrested last night will be charged with burning the electricity transformer in Protea South. The transformer was burnt down on 23 May. On that night the wealthier residents of Protea South living in private bonded houses armed themselves and went around beating shack dwellers who had connected themselves to electricity and forcibly disconnecting them from electricity. They shot two people and one person died. They also tried to burn down Maureen Mnisi’s house. Her house was saved when LPM members defended it by erecting a burning barricade and throwing stones at the mob from the Homeowner’s Association. Some members of the community burnt down the electricity box to show the wealthier residents of Protea South that if they want to deny electricity to the poor then it will be denied to everyone. This is tactic of disconnecting the rich if they disconnect the poor (or ask the state to do it) has been used in Siyanda, Pemary Ridge and Motala Heights in Durban.
Continue reading

South Africa: Police kill Landless People’s Movement militant

Landless People's MovementThe Landless People’s Movement in Johannesburg continues to face repression. A number of its leaders are now in hiding. Police attack in eTwatwa, Ekurhuleni; one person is dead and another seriously injured.

Saturday, 29 May 2010
Landless People’s Movement Press Statement

On Sunday 23 May residents of the bond houses in Protea South, Soweto, attacked the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) in the shacks in Protea South. They went around disconnecting us from electricity and beating those who had been connected to electricity. They tried to burn down Maureen Mnisi’s shack and two people were shot. One died on the scene.

Today the police attacked the LPM in eTwatwa, Ekurhuleni. At least three people were shot with live ammunition. One person has died and another is currently being operated on in hospital.

The background to the police attack on the LPM in eTwatwa is that on Tuesday 24 May we organised a march on the Councillor for Ward 65, Cllr Baleka. The different extensions each had their own demands but at the last point of the memorandum we all united on one demand which is that the Councillor must immediately step down. We indicated that we expected a response to our demands within seven days.

On Thursday 26 May the Provincial Government sent us a fax saying that they would meet us next Wednesday.

The situation in Extension 18 of eTwetwa is very bad. There is no electricity, no sewerage, no roads, not even water – there is nothing. The Councillor did start a project to build toilets but she said that only 717 of the 1 149 people would benefit as the rest of the people would be evicted to make way for a new road to be built by the provincial government. They want to move these people to transit areas. Obviously we cannot accept this. We have stayed in Extension 18 for many years.
Continue reading

South Africa: Landless People’s Movement attacked in Soweto

South Africa ABCFrom our comrades at the Zabalaza Anarcho-Communist Front:

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has been attacked in Soweto, Johannesburg. Their partners in the Poor People’s Alliance (PPA), Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) were attacked in Durban in September last year. Information is still sketchy at this point but it could well be that the attacks are part of a broader crack down on popular movements by the African National Congress.
Continue reading