Monday, August 05, 2019

WE ARE GOING HOME


District Six is a former inner-city residential area in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 60,000 of its inhabitants were forcibly removed during the 1970s by the apartheid regime. The residents of District six were mostly traders, immigrants, and freed slaves. 

Elderly former District Six residents have urged the minister of land affairs to speed up their claims saying they might be dead before they can move back home. Many others like Gawa Wilkinson, 64, who spoke to the Weekend Argus that while she was excited about Friday’s court ruling, paving the way to move back home, she might not live to see the day. According to Wilkinson, she has been waiting for 22 years for the matter to be resolved. 

Acting Judge President Yasmin Meer took under five minutes to rule in favour of the District Six Working Committee (D6WC) and seven other claimants in the Western Cape High Court, that Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, act speedily to ensure that the District Six matter reaches a conclusion her fervent hope is that this ruling will go a long way to address the issue of District Six Meer had said. Respondents in the matter included the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and the Government of the Republic of South Africa. 

There was euphoria on the steps of the Western Cape High Court as claimants sang, “We are going home

Another claimant, Abdullah Hendricks, 74, said he is “deeply relieved”. “I want to be in District Six.” Hendricks said his family was moved out of the area when he was 10 and he lived around Cape Town before settling in Newfields.

Chairperson of the D6WC, Shahied Ajam said Meer’s judgment “answered the prayers and hopes of the people”. “This whitewash judgment is for every marginalised community. It’s a wise ruling for some people who have waited over 100 years,” he said. He said their hope was that 3000 residents could move back to the area within five years. “This ruling is also a first for land restitution in South Africa,” he said.

By: Aneeqa du Plessis 


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