Eikenhof tense after shacks demolished

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Johannesburg - The situation was tense on Thursday during a stand-off between police and Eikenhof residents who were angry over the demolition of their shacks in the informal settlement.

A journalist was hurt as the residents turned on the media covering the stand-off.

The shacks had allegedly been erected illegally and when they were demolished it sent the residents into a frenzy.

They rallied behind the owners of the shacks, putting rocks on the road and allegedly stoning cars passing by.

This morning a traffic light lay damaged on the road, others had been smashed and debris was lying everywhere.

Police had to stop people from using the R554 to Lenasia as they feared for their safety. At one point a car arrived from the other side of the R554 and the residents started stoning it.

The driver had to negotiate his way through the rocks that were blocking the road, driving fast to flee the raging mob.

Police ran towards the scene, firing rubber bullets at the crowds to disperse them.

Joburg metro police spokes-man Wayne Minnaar said the violence started on Wednesday over the demolition of two shacks that had been illegally built.

Sibongile Mnguni of the SA Police Service said the people who lived in Eikenhof were normally relocated to Lehae, an RDP development nearby.

The agreement between the housing department and the residents was that when people were relocated, no one was supposed to build a shack where those people used to live, Mnguni said.

However, on Wednesday, when the department arrived in Eikenhof, they found three additional shacks.

Five people were arrested for public violence.

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