Picture: Sihle Mavuso
Picture: Sihle Mavuso

MK Vets up the ante in fight with ANC government over housing, invade abandoned posh Durban beachfront hotel

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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The unhappy group has resorted to occupying the abandoned hotel on the beachfront of Durban even though it has no water and electricity.

Durban - Disgruntled former MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe) combatants have upped the ante in their demand for housing from the ANC-led government.

This comes amid their insistence that despite being evicted on Wednesday after invading the Four Season Palm Beach in Durban, they will sleep outside the venue until they are heard.

After breaking away from the main MKMVA mother body, the former freedom fighters have engaged in violent acts.

Among them includes storming the ANC’s provincial building and demanding that they attend to their grievances.

They had also blocked the N2 and N3 freeways and chasing illegal immigrants trading in the city centre of Durban.

Now the unhappy group has resorted to occupying the abandoned hotel on the beachfront of Durban even though it has no water and electricity.

Previously, the hotel, which is one of the many state-owned properties, was occupied by squatters and some immigrants.

It was later cordoned off pending a conversion process to turn it into a low-cost accommodation.

Speaking to Independent Media about their occupation, Zibuse Cele, the leader of veterans said they would not move an inch despite risks associated with the building.

He added that their occupation began three weeks ago and that at the time, they were evicted by the SAPS and Durban metro police.

“We want the government to provide us with decent housing as per its promise when we came back from exile in the early 90s. We are hungry, poor, jobless, and we cannot afford to build our own houses. On top of that, in our hones where we live we are congested and we want the government to give us the houses it promised us,” Cele said.

Cele had harsh words for the ruling party, saying it was a shame to them and many other people it promised houses and better life but then failed to deliver.

“The apartheid government is decently looking after its former soldiers, providing them with good houses and other needs, but our own democratic government, which we fought for to come to power, has abandoned us and the people who elected it. This is shameful,” Cele said, insisting that they will not leave the building until they are heard.

The chairperson of the formal structure of the MKMVA in the greater Durban metro, Mxolisi Nyuswa, said they heard about the acts of the disgruntled group through the media and it was not officially sanctioned by them.

He, however, said they are pushing the government to resolve the issue of housing for all military veterans because they have been waiting for them for 28 years.

The MEC for human settlements and public works in KZN, Jomo Sibiya said they are aware of the plight of the former liberation soldiers and they are working on their housing plight.

“We have a plan, not just a plan, we are implementing it already. We are on the ground, contractors are on the ground constructing houses for military veterans … We have committed ourselves that in this financial year we will be building 261 (houses) for military veterans,” he said, adding this would be a first in the province.“

“We want to see them getting these houses, we are intervening, even yesterday (on Thursday), what happened along the beach is not what we want to see. But then again we are a country with laws, we are not a lawless country, lawlessness will never be tolerated, it won’t be accepted, where there is lawlessness, the law must take its course. So that’s why yesterday (on Thursday), we had to deal with yesterday (Thursday) in a matter it happened,” Sibiya said.

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Political Bureau

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