Three weeks ago, governments from around the world met in Durban, South Africa for the 17th UN Climate Change Conference, COP17. Just days before the international summit began, a community from nearby KwaMashu had their houses destroyed and all their possessions and food stolen from them by their government. They were told they were “dirtying” the image of Durban for the COP17 conference by city officials ashamed of their own inhabitants. The next night, as members of this community crouched in the rain under plastic bags in the spaces where their houses used to stand, Mwempi Caka caught a chill and died soon after. To this day, this community of grandmothers, mothers, babies and sons sleep each night on the floors of the kind neighbors that surround the empty land where their own houses once stood.

After two weeks of intense negotiations, the COP17 Conference ended—leaving the world without any international treaty to address climate change. Many critics have said that “this conference didn’t change anything”. The 31 families, who lost their homes and all their possessions because of COP17, know this is not true. What the conference clearly delivered is a prime example of the manner that governments are reacting to climate change: with blatant disregard for basic human rights. This grave injustice to the community from KwaMashu and the death of Mwempi Caka reminds us that while the climate crisis and its impact cannot be underestimated, they cannot serve as an excuse to continue a legacy of injustice.

We invite you to show your solidarity for the 31 families from KwaMashu who were robbed of their homes, their dignity and their friend. It is our hope that international support will put pressure on an otherwise unresponsive local government to return justice and houses to this community immediately.

Please join us this Friday, January 6th by calling the local Councilor,  Lucky Mdlalose, at +27 822565398 to demand that he respect the constitutional rights of Miss Jabulile Mdlalose and the 30 other families and provide them with immediate housing. Alternate number: +27 0847221900

Article 26, Section 3 of the South African Constitution States: “No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.” The PIE act was also violated: “whether people have been living lawfully or unlawfully they cannot be evicted without there being alternative accomodation.”

IMPORTANT: Please report back on this page after calling, so that we may use that information to generate local media to put further pressure on Councilor Lucky Mdlalose.

Update: There’s now a Facebook event for this aciton too. 

SAMPLE SCRIPT for CALL-IN:

 

Hello, can i speak to Councilor Lucky Mdlalose

My name is … and i’m calling from….

I’m calling to enquire about the case of Jabulile Mdlalose & 31 families from KwaMashu, who were unlawfully evicted from their homes shortly before the COP17 Climate Conference – violating their rights outlined in Article 26 of the South African Constitution.

I want to encourage you to act immediately to provide these 31 families with housing. I followed/attended (or have co-workers/friends who attended) the COP17 Conference and I was outraged to learn that this conference was used as an excuse to violate this communities rights. The PIE act states that in cases of evictions: “special consideration should be given to the rights of the elderly, children, disabled persons and particularly households headed by women, and that it should be recognised that the needs of those groups should be considered”. The needs of this community have not been met, and one man has already died as a result of this negligence.

This community needs immediate attention, and I want you to know that many of us from around the world will be following this case and expect prompt action.

Many of these community members voted for you, I hope to see you act in their interest. Thank you for your time.

IMPORTANT: Report back on your call to [email protected] saying where you called from so we may gather a list of how many countries and people participated.

PIE Act, No. 19 of 1998.
“WHEREAS special consideration should be given to the rights of the elderly, children,
disabled persons and particularly households headed by women, and that it should be
recognised that the needs of those groups should be considered;”

Article 26 of Constitution: 26.    
Housing.-( 1)    Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing. (2) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures,    within its available
resources, to achieve thperogressive realisation of this right.
(3) No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an    order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.   

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