The banner, placed on Tollgate Bridge over the N3 heading into the Durban CBD, is one of three banners placed amid political parties’ election posters on the bridge.
One of these banners reads “No land no vote, umhlaba wethu lo (this is ours)”, while another says that those who put up the banner were pleading for help.
The banner takes issue with the police, saying the officers had demolished houses and failed to present the relevant court orders.
Abahlali spokesperson Mqapheli Bonono said the banners were not the work of their movement, but that other unhappy Cato Crest residents could be responsible.
“We are encouraging our members to vote. They know who to vote for based on what they have been through,” he said. Bonono said the movement had five branches in Cato Crest, and the general feeling there was that residents wanted land.
He said the movement was encouraging people to vote because members had died during protests and clashes with the police, and not voting would mean those lives had been lost in vain.
“There are many Abahlali graves out there. We have lost Thuli Ndlovu, Sifiso Ngcobo, Nkululeko Gwala and Sbonelo Mfeka. We can’t say it’s business as usual when we have lost so many. We can’t interfere with elections when we have lost so many,” said Bonono.
Meanwhile, metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said Cato Manor residents engaged police in running battles during the weekend. He said land invaders became embroiled in fights with police who were trying to stop them erecting shacks in the dark. Sewpersad said some of the invaders shot at the police and hid in nearby bushes.
He said the police were monitoring the area.