80 Cape Town Homeless Locked Up

Monday, November 29, 2010 - 18:47
We need your support, we have a database of 25 people who came to our offices to report the "clean up" operation that took place on Thursday night in Cape Town and get support in retreiving their property and vent their frustration.

1. It was reported that the following organisations played a role in this operation - DFU, CCID, Law Enforcement and SAPS.
2. Most of the 25 people that reported their situation to MylifE sleep in the vacinity of Hope Street and have been given permission to do so by the owners of the buildings whose doorsteps they sleep on - and have done so for many years.
3. Most of the people were woken up on the streets and put in the back of Police Vans and taken to Central Police Station. They were "warned" that if they go back to their sleeping place (their homes) the same would happen to them on Friday night.
4. All of them had their property confiscated - this included clothing, vital medication, Identity documents, paperwork and blankets - their only posessions, the clothing on their backs. Some of these people were above 50 years old.
5. It was alleged that some of the homless were assaulted at the Police Station and referred to as "bergies".
6. One woman (42 years old) had a fit due to the trauma of the event which put strain on her breathing, she had a fit and vomited in the back of one of the crowded Vans. Her vital medication had been confiscated and SAPS took her to Somerset hospital where she was put onto an oxygen machine and drip to stabislise and treat her. She has never been in a Police Van and has spent many years on the streets. She has also been waiting 23 years for a house.
7. Most of them were not charged at the Police Station (I got one charge handed to us for PK) - neither were they searched, most of the people in the cells were concerned by the fact that there were scissors, belts and knives on them in the cells where they slept on cold floors with no blankets - stating there were at least 60 - 70 people that were locked up, some said more.
8. All attended community court on Friday morning where they were morpho touched and released
9. The DFU has not given back their possessions even though some of the Homeless have been to their offices to collect and are concerned that that they might dump all of these personal belongings. The Homeless alleged that this happens at least once a month where there possessions are taken and that the DFU is know to "sell their belongings" back into the Communitys.

MylifE called the Haven for support as most of the people locked up fit their age criteria, Dean at the CCID Social Development, Jantjie Booysen (City Council) Captain October (who was doing pamphlet distribution and knew nothing of the "event"), Pastor John and the Independant Democrats. Lance Greyling - Chief Whip for the ID came in to assist us with the 30 odd people who had gathered outside our offices as did Pastor John. We have footage that was captured as the people started arriving at our offices which I would like you to see as this is greater testimony than this email.

The matter has been reported to the MEC for Social Development - we want to know who was behind this campaign, why the NGO sector was not informed and why these measure have been adopted causing massive trauma amongst the effected people. We are taking down statements from people and they are wanting to lay charges against those responsible and the media has picked up on the story.

These are human beings, some of them old enough to be my father and as it is they are struggling, surving the streets with diseases from weak hearts, arthritis, HIV, TB, alcoholism, high blood pressure, fits and it is endless. This strategy does not work if there is not a place to take the homeless to, where they can be cared for and have no reason to come back to the streets. The young ones who came to the office just deal with it and get more hardened, the elderley have already surrendered. It was really sad to see that we are now criminalising the Homeless all over again when the only crime that has been committed is there is no solution to their plight!

The Homeless need your support to take legal action, please let me know what I need to do to make sure this happens.


After a disturbing experience with the Central City Improvement District (CCID) guards in the Cape Town CBD, I have become worried that these guards could often be exceeding their legal powers of arrest and detention, particularly with respect to people they consider "undesirable". In order to test what other peoples' experiences have been, we have put up a website to collect stories. If you know of anyone who has witnessed or experienced any action by the CCID which they could share with us (confidentially), please could you encourage them to visit: http://indiebio.yousemble.com/cid-your-experience
I have recently contacted the DA offices to highlight the fact that there is no proper model for dealing with the problem in Cape Town and wanted to table a self sustainable model for the problem as I am working for a NPO in Johannesburg that does exactly the right thing They take these people in rehabilitate them , they find them jobs , cloth them and feed them. I was just passed on to the social department and no invitation rely to sdress this problem. I would like to ask if there is a organisation that can provide me the oppurtunity to come and put this in plce for the Cape province. I will do the fund raising allso to get this implemented. My chalenges to do this are: Accomdation Office -phone - and email and internett with basic of R5000.00 pm Eduard Ellis 0769944999
Hey. Unfortunately I will be unable to help legal wise, however I would love to assist by donating clothes and anything else I can gather. Who do I contact, where do I go, where are they living now?
We encourage the notion that living on the street is a 'problem' and then wonder why our institutions feel they have the right to abuse people. This is the age of the system. Cold and calculating, and if you get in it's way, utterly without compassion. Gradually we become depersonalized, turned into machines in factories and passive recipients of the blight of media advertising - where all creativity has become measured and commercialized. It is a catastrophy in meaning. The less meaning we find, the harder we peddle on the infinite treadmill of work, in the pursuit of progress, in the hurry for our next sensual fix, running from the inevitable hopelessness of our delusional ambitions, perpetuated by a system we feel compelled to engage in. Charity is no longer a spontaneous expression of love. Its an institution we have funds sent to automatically each month. Even our dying religions made charity an obligation. This is not spirituality. This is not taking personal responsibility for our path in life. We watch helplessly as the institutions that are meant to protect us attack us. Schools make us stupid, government requires more governing than it offers, the medical industry creates illness, the judicial system perpetuates injustice. With religion at least we had an ethical context for our experiences, even if it was institutionalized. Now the only thing we can agree on is that we watch the same events. The media has become the religion. The media has the power. They control our attention - something we have so little of these days. They control which candidates we see, what light we see them in. They work the stories and create the hype and we just gulp it all down. We have become leaderless, voiceless drones. This is the degenerate age. The age of turbulence.
What is the DFU? Do you perhaps mean DPU (Displaced Persons Unit)?
I witnessed this one Wednesday evening in the parking lot at the St. Mary's Cathedral, and questioned the Officer who was performing these grave acts. His response was that the Mayor has ordered this action and that we want these peope off the streets and as far away as possible from the city. I reported another incident that happened to the homeless couple that we assisted to get married in Sept/Oct last year, to the Mayor and the Premier on the Heart 104.9 radio station. They promised to get back to me and I am still waiting. of course we laid a charge of assault with the Tokai police and got a Pro-rata attorney, but they were not very helpful and we just stalled the case.