Sun, 20 Sep 2020

Western Cape evictions spark protests

A meeting scheduled between Fritz and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole for Tuesday is aimed at getting more help in coordinating the prevention of invasions and the arrests of perpetrators.

They also called on courts not to let those arrested off with a "slap on the wrist".

In the latest attempts at occupying vacant land, there have been violent clashes between large groups of people and police in Kraaifontein.

At the weekend, a Metro Police officer was burnt when an incendiary device was thrown at the vehicle he was in. He doused the fire, but sustained injuries to his face and neck.

Injured

The City of Cape Town said at least 40 staffers had been injured in altercations.

Reports indicate that civilians are also being injured during these confrontations.

"I condemn the violent protest action surrounding many of the land invasions in the strongest terms," said Fritz.

"The land invasions taking placing are highly coordinated and sophisticated in their execution, having already occupied large plots of land in areas such as Wallacedene, Bloekombos and Khayelitsha.

"In many cases, the land being occupied is already designated for services aimed at developing the communities and, therefore, undermines the community in which it takes place.

"It is completely unacceptable that infrastructure, such as roads and arterials, are being damaged by tire burning and that the safety and well-being of residents is further being infringed on by the stone throwing, petrol bombs and other violent and dangerous behaviour.

READ | Unrest continues as roads closed in four ares in Cape Town

"It has become clear that those who are complicit and involved in these illegal events only have criminal intentions," stated Simmers.

Bredell said the issue was widespread across the province.

The Western Cape government has indicated that it is also having problems handing houses over to beneficiaries as some people are preventing the occupation of the newly built houses.

The Disaster Management Act regulations prevent evictions during the period of the declared disaster, and also prohibits illegal land occupation.

However, Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe ruled in favour of Hout Bay's Ginola Phillips, whose Wendy house in Hangberg was taken down. He had been evicted from a site he had built on.

Salie-Hlophe called the eviction "deplorable" and ordered that his goods be returned and that his home be rebuilt.

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