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EFF backs Bekkersdal residents

Johannesburg - Gauteng EFF leaders met residents of Bekkersdal on Thursday and expressed support for their fight for land, the party said.

“Though we do not encourage our people to disobey the rule of law, sometimes when people are frustrated and tired of false promises, they take immediate action,” the Economic Freedom Fighters said in a statement.

Violent protests erupted in Bekkersdal last year. File photo: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“What our people are going through under the (African National Congress) government is totally not acceptable.”

The EFF accepted that residents in the area wanted to remain apolitical and agreed to have a follow up meeting with them next week.

The Citizen newspaper reported that the Westonaria local municipality and Rand Uranium applied for a court interdict to stop residents from illegally occupying vacant land in the area. The mining company owns the land.

In court papers, the municipality said it was not in a financial position to “take on the burden” of providing services it had not planned or budgeted for.

The municipality said the area had been rezoned for agricultural purposes, and that it was geologically unstable and prone to sinkholes, according to the newspaper.

On Thursday, the newspaper reported that the interdict was granted late on Tuesday afternoon. Despite the court interdict residents reportedly said they would not budge.

Municipality spokesman Kgabane Madiehe told The Citizen that the law would have to take its course should residents remain defiant.

“However, as the municipality, we want to say to residents that our door is always open for engaging,” he was quoted as saying.

Sapa

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