We are sliding towards a gestapo mentality in South Africa

Sinethemba (Patrick) Qongqo

Professor WA Richter,
Somerset West

I want to refer to two incidents to illustrate my conjecture.

I have a very competent and honest handyman, Sinethemba (Patrick) Qongqo, who lives in the Lwandle area.

On Monday April 13, around 5.30pm, he was walking home after purchasing some food items, and almost got to his gate when he was accosted by three people – two police officers and one from the armed forces.

He was asked in a very aggressive tone what he was doing outside, and without any warning, he was hit with a sjambok over the head several times.

In trying to ward off the blows the plastic bags were torn and the food articles fell to the ground. He carried them in his shirt afterwards.

So one can ask, what training do these barbarians get? They are no better than street scum.

Patrick has a long black mark on his face which can be seen on the photograph. It may be permanent.

Whatever it may cost me, I intend getting legal advice with a view to instituting a claim against the Minister of Police.

During the Easter weekend the Law Enforcement Unit of the City of Cape Town demolished shacks on a piece of land at Empolweni near Baden Powell Drive based on a court order dating to 2018.

Forty-nine occupied homes were destroyed.

The unbelievable claim was made that the shacks were unoccupied.

Video footage published by Daily Maverick shows that to be a blatant lie.

They were occupied with families and even babies, in many cases because people were evicted from their previous dwellings because they could not pay their rent. as they had lost their income due the lockdown.

The pathetic uncooperative response of officials concerned with this catastrophe, further tarnishes the name of the City of Cape Town.

The callousness of this action reminded me of another, in the 1970s, that I witnessed.

When I was a lecturer at the University of the Western Cape, the Nationalist government demolished shacks in the middle of an extremely cold and wet winter on grounds next to the university.

That evening I sat in my room in Stellenbosch, virtually on top of an electric heater, and wondered how the people with their children and meagre belongings that I saw standing in the bushes survived.

The DA-run City of Cape Town seems to be on par with that heartless apartheid achievement.

The mindless people who took that decision should be criminally charged with contravening the lockdown regulations.

Where people in the shacks were afforded some protection and isolation, the demolition exposed them to all the threats inherent in the Covid-19 pandemic.

If the DA hasn’t learnt anything from the apartheid era, I no longer wish to be a member of the DA, thank you.