Amadiba Crisis Committee: Trespassing TLB chased in Sigidi village, Mbizana. Seven women injured by knobkerries.
ACC Statement, 24 April 2023
“You are dirty and uneducated villagers. What are you talking about? Women have no say over land.”
These are the words of the Principal of Plangeni school in Mbizana, Mr Nero Dlamini. He had organised a TLB front loader to come in the night to Sigidi village in Amadiba. Early in the morning on Saturday, the TLB started to dig up an area that Mr Dlamini illegally had fenced off earlier, less than 1km from the coast. After first saying “I don’t know”, he claimed he was building a house. But the school principal – or the “cadre” he is fronting for – managed to damage a large area. It is environmentally classified.
Women in Sigidi arrived after 10AM. They argued with “educated” school principal Nero Dlamini, telling him that this is community land that he cannot buy. They sat in front of the TLB front loader, demanding the work to stop.
Mr Nero Dlamini called for reinforcements. A group of men arrived armed with knobkerries. They attacked the unarmed women. Seven women were injured. They were treated at Gamalakhe hospital on Saturday evening and Sunday, including Nonhle Mbuthuma, spokesperson of ACC.
As ACC, we don’t take this attack on our women for granted. Women in South Africa are killed every day. On Saturday, men were coming with sticks to attack unarmed women who defended the land of Sigidi. Women are now having sleepless nights after being brutally intimidated.
The assault stopped when elders arrived. The hired TLB workers have had enough and left for Bizana.
A case has been opened (Mzamba CAS 44/04/2023).
The background to the incident is Sanral’s authorisation to let the N2 Highway pass through three coastal villages. As a result, the flies are gathering around honey. The megaproject attracts rich and connected people. All villages on the coast are pushing our trespassers several times per month. Rich people want cheap and large sites on the coast. They undermine customary law with bottles of brandy. They push for communal land to be privatised and become “My Property”. At the Mzamba police station, the principal claimed he had “bought” the site from his brother, who is a sub-headman.
Communal land that is our livelihood is under threat from capitalists, new and old, black or white. Every rich person is now rushing to get a site before the N2 is built. They are prepared to use violence and “masculinity” to get what they want.
No matter how difficult it is, the women will continue to defend our land. To women, land is not about money. It is about securing a decent life for the next generation.
Women land defenders, FORWARD! Phambili ngabafazi, PHAMBILI!
Mabawuyeke Umhlaba Wethu! Leave our land alone!
Amadiba Crisis Committee
Nonhle Mbuthuma 0734262955; Cromwell Sonjica 0630523090.
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