South Africa: STOP Illegal Evictions and Demolitions

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In the duration of just two months of the Covid-19 lockdown, over 900 people's shacks have been illegally demolished in the Durban area in South Africa. As the world rises against the brutalisation and murder of Black people in the United States, it is equally important that the world acknowledges and fights the brutal actions occurring at the hands of the South African government, police, and military. 

The new independently-researched report from the Church Land Programme shows how shack settlements in the city of eThekwini have been targeted in a sustained campaign of violent evictions and demolitions during the Covid-19 crisis. The local municipality, councillors, the police, the army, and private security companies have driven this violence in defiance of basic decency and humanity, as well as the national law, international guidance, the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, ministerial proclamations, and the brave and concerted resistance of shack-dwellers themselves.

We the undersigned lend our voices to this report’s call:

STOP this! In the name of our shared humanity, our dignity, and our decency, STOP this!
Evictions and demolitions, especially at this time, are an attack on all of us.
We further endorse the call for:
A public and unreserved apology from the mayor of eThekwini for what has happened, and an unambiguous commitment never to do it again.
Fines and real consequences to be imposed upon all the managers, leaders, and others who have led, authorised, or condoned, these inhumane acts.
Support for and solidarity with the people affected and the shack-dweller movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo.