Cell tower activist’s home raided by South African Police.

Press statement from Andre van Rooyen

June 19th 2017

My name is Andre van Rooyen, I am a resident of Durban and have recently been an extremely active opponent to the plan by cellphone company MTN with regard to their massive and illegal rollout of cell towers in Durban.  I have five cell towers within a 500 metre radius of my house – none of which have planning permission.

On the night of Wednesday 14th June my house was raided by the South African police.  The complainant was an anonymous person from MTN.  The allegation was that I was a suspect in the vandalising of MTN cell masts, and they were looking for evidence.  They removed my cellphone, computers, clothing, and various bottles of flammable liquids that I keep for home repairs.

The loss of my work computer is a real blow, as on this computer I keep all the files and photographs I need to do my work as an insurance assessor.

I believe that the real reason that I was raided was because I have been outspoken to the press and the public about the illegal cell masts that have been erected by MTN throughout Durban.  I believe that these cell antennae – erected without the required planning permissions – have been severely affecting my and my family’s health.  This raid was an intimidatory tactic.

The police refused to disclose who had brought the complaint, but the warrant for the search clearly identifies the damaged masts as belonging to MTN.

The curious thing is that, up till this raid, MTN and the city of Ethekwini have been denying that these masts are cell masts.  They have been calling them ‘camera poles’ in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  The fact that MTN has brought a case with regard to damage of ‘their’ property makes it clear that in fact these towers are solely for the mounting of cellphone antennae, and have been illegally erected.

The Constitution gives all citizens of South Africa the right to a healthy environment.  All city bylaws across the country require certain permissions before cell towers can be erected and activated.  These permissions include a public participation process.  In the case of the hundreds of cell antennae that have been erected across Durban, this has not been done.

I believe – and I have strong evidence to support my claim – that the proliferation of cell antennae across Durban is a serious health risk.  We are already exposed to electromagnetic radiation through our appliances, our radios, our wi-fi, our cellphones.  Every new tower and antennae that goes up just increases the amount of radiation in our environment.  There has to be a point where it becomes too much, and I think that point has been reached.
Mystery surrounds Durban approval for MTN towers
City officials conceal truth as purpose-built cell masts erected under the guise of ‘fighting crime’ are fitted with antennae instead of CCTV cameras, writes Niki Moore  https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/telecoms-and-technology/2017-06-15-in-depth-report-mystery-surrounds-durban-approval-for-mtn-towers/
Glenwood residents feel effect of cell masts https://www.emfsa.co.za/news/glenwood-residents-feel-effects-cell-mast-transmissions/

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