“The police urinated on our food. Then they burnt ouR BEDS.”
On Wednesday, 1 July, the police demolished Bulelani Qolani’s shack in eThembeni, Cape Town. The City of Cape Town’s law enforcement officers violently dragged Qolani out of his home – while he was naked. Qolani managed to get back into his shack. The police started to dismantle his house. Qolani says he had been living in his eThembeni shack for just over two months. The land on which his shack is situated belongs to the City of Cape Town.
A court order prevents the city from demolishing 49 existing structures on the land during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown. But the city says Qolani’s shack is new and not one of the 49 permitted structures. The national government has declared evictions during lockdown illegal. A COVID-19 story by Samuel Flans, Alfa Fipaza and Abongile Njamela.