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SACP, residents to protest evictions

Earlier in July, some 2,000 Fordsburg residents were evicted from the Newtown Urban Village building.

Lucia Mdluli and her 17-year-old disabled son are amonth the 2000 tenants who were evicted from the Newtown Urban Village last week. Picture: Mia

JOHANNESBURG - Fordsburg residents and South African Communist Party (SACP) members will march against the use of so-called Red Ants on Saturday morning.

Demonstrators will call on provincial government officials to reconsider using the Red Ants to evict residents for illegally occupying buildings.

Earlier in July, some 2,000 Fordsburg residents were left destitute after being evicted from the Newtown Urban Village building.

Organiser and SACP Secretary Jacob Mamabolo said police were better trained and equipped to evict residents.

He said a number of school pupils were also affected by the eviction.

"We hope that the MEC will act swiftly and appropriately to make sure that learners are able to go to class. We believe learners have suffered severely due to the eviction," Mamabolo said.

The march is expected to start at 11pm at Mary-Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Lucia Mdluli and her disabled son Lindokuhle were also evicted from the building.

The two had to sleep on mattresses on the pavement outside, covered only in damp blankets.

Gauteng Department of Social Development's Sello Mokoena said attempts to place the boy at the Zanele Mbeki Frail Care Centre were thwarted.

"The mother refused to grant permission for the boy to be placed at the centre [because] she maintains that the effort is not worth her while as her uppermost need is a house. A local councillor has promised to assist her."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) called on the Johannesburg Housing Council (JHC) to explain why the evictions were carried out in mid-winter.

"The JHC has provided some good social housing projects, but these evictions are a stain on its reputation," said DA Gauteng Caucus Leader Jack Bloom.

He said the city was also to blame.

Bloom accused the municipality of "ducking its responsibility" in the matter.