Cae Town - The Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement is not cashing in on the Lwandle land matter in Cape Town in any way, an inquiry into evictions on the land heard on Monday.
“When Ses'Khona arrived there during these evictions, it was not the only time Ses'Khona was there. In January, from the first eviction, we were invited by the community and helped them, not knowing anyone,” testified movement leader Loyiso Nkohla.
“We want to make that point very clear. Ses'Khona Rights Movement is not a group of opportunistic people who want to go all over.”
The inquiry was hearing evidence to determine what happened when illegal shack dwellers were removed from SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) land in Lwandle, near Strand, on June 2 and June 3.
Nkohla said fellow leader Andile Lili managed to get a copy of the draft court order that was used to carry out the eviction.
“Our belief is that even if there was a final court order, a sober judge or magistrate would have considered a reliable alternative for the people.”
A number of inquiry members asked Nkohla why there was a discrepancy between the residents he claimed were affected by the eviction, and a number given by the Sheriff of the High Court.
Although he seemed to fail to answer the question directly, he explained that many people returned to the area after they were first evicted from the land at the start of the year.
These people had erected shacks on the opposite side of the main road running past the land.
He accused Western Cape premier Helen Zille, whom he referred to as “the racist girl”, of spreading lies about his movement and claiming that they had sold pieces of the land for R2500.
“We have been challenging this racist girl. Don't talk loudly to the media... racist girl must not divert issues and she must affirm her position that we have stolen people's money. We are saying bring the proof...so that Ses'Khona can be taken to court.”
A Democratic Alliance staffer sitting in on the inquiry, Jamie Turkington, jumped up, put his microphone on and demanded that the committee reprimand Nkohla for using such language to describe Zille.
He ignored calls to sit down and was asked to leave the Good Hope sub-council building.
Nkohla was asked whether 849 structures, a number he claimed was demolished, could fit onto the Sanral piece of land next to the N2.
He explained that the area had recently been developed and only around 200 shacks were able to fit onto the land. It would have been possible to fit over 800 shacks under “the previous arrangement”.
The inquiry continues.