By Max Rambau, CORC
The Bapsfontein mass meeting was held at the Mayfield Sports Ground in Extension 9. This meeting catered for people from Zenzeleni, Baghdad and Mayfield Extension 6. These are the areas to which the families that were relocated (forced removal) from Bapsfontein were taken to.
This meeting was taking place at a time when the people there had already heard about the Constitutional Court ruling on the Bapsfontein relocation. When we arrived they were eagerly awaiting to hear what was going to happen.
A lot of them were complaining about the money they were spending on transport to work and for their children to school.
The ISN gave the report-back on the Constitutional Court ruling and what it meant for the relocated families of Bapsfontein.
The people were very happy to hear these news and they requested the ISN to continue to serve them in the way they did when they were forcefully removed from Bapsfontein whereby other organisatios had left them.
They also requested the ISN to help them not to go back to the same conditions they had left in Bapsfontein. They wanted the ISN to negotiate with government so that they can have a piece of land where they can be settled and they were prepared to start paying for services.
We asked them to identify a piece of land so that we can start negotiating.
We then asked what should happen to the people who were moved to Cloverdene who were not at this meeting. It was suggested that they should also be treated the same way as those in Zenzeleni and Mayfield. The community promised to contact them so that whatever deal is struck with government should include them as well.
Some people came forward to indicate that they were from Etwatwa and had paid one leader to go and stay at Zenzeleni and Mayfield. They wanted to know what should happen to them. We advised them to go and do affidavits detailing what had happened to them and this would then be used to open cases against the leaders alleged to have sold them stands.
We promised the community that we would be starting to open negotiations with the MMC for Human Settlements in Ekurhuleni to start working with us on the matter of Bapsfontein so as to speedily deal with it.