LAND GRAB: Woodlands residents have put up structures on open land in Mitchells Plain. They say they want houses. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The DA has been accused of politicising legitimate demands for housing by blaming “third force elements” and the ANC for a spate of protests and land grabs.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said on Sunday the protests could be politically motivated.

“These protests could be linked to the political utterances made by the president, who said land should be expropriated without compensation.

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“We are aware of cases where ANC staff members are receiving money to mobilise communities and to stage violent protests,” Smith said.

The DA’s chief whip, Mark Wiley, said this was part of the ANC’s plot to make the Western Cape ungovernable.

“The recent violent protests seen across the province are eerily similar to this covert project, which aims to not only exploit DA members by making certain inducements, but also to destabilise communities by interrupting and curtailing service delivery,” Wiley said.

Wiley said the reintroduction of ANC leader Ebrahim Rasool indicated a plan to oust the DA from leadership.

“The reintroduction of a recycled, disgraced former ANC leader, Ebrahim Rasool, to lead the ANC’s provincial election campaign indicates that there is a clear plan by the opposition and certain sectors in our society to not only threaten service delivery to law-abiding citizens, but to cause complete anarchy,” he said.

The ANC’s provincial secretary, Faiez Jacobs, rubbished the claims. “We reject this conspiracy and this hypocrisy by the DA. This is a clear deflection, and they are trying to shift the blame. It is clear that the DA has failed its people and failed to deliver,” he said.

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The latest land invasion is by a group of residents in Woodlands, Mitchells Plain, who said they had been on the housing waiting list for more than 20 years. They have vowed to continue illegally occupying pieces of land around the area until their demands are met.

“I am fed-up, I have been on that housing waiting list for over 23 years. And it’s unfair that we have not received any homes,” said Malvern Fredericks.

Fredericks is a backyard dweller staying in a two-bedroom home with his four grandchildren and seven children.

On Sunday morning, law enforcement cleared the land the residents were illegally occupying and destroyed their structures.

But the residents then moved their structures to various open sites.


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Cape Argus