A ward councillor’s car was torched during an attempted land invasion. Gerry Gordon was allegedly held hostage by residents at the Italy sports field. She was extracted from the area by police. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The DA ward councillor in Vrygrond near Muizenberg, Gerry Gordon, was "held hostage" by residents before her vehicle was torched following the demolition of shacks erected during a land invasion on Sunday.

The land, named “Xakabantu land”, by the community has been targeted for several occupations by residents from the informal settlement recently. 

On Sunday, the residents were enraged after the City’s anti-invasion unit tore down their structures. They began stoning vehicles and set Gordon’s vehicle alight.

The City’s law enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason, said: “The councillor who was at one stage reportedly held hostage at the Italy sports field has been extracted from the area by the police and is safe. 

Also read: Cops rescue two councillors from angry mob in Vrygrond

"Some elements in the community have threatened to burn any City vehicle.”

A traumatised Gordon said she did not have a meeting with the Vrygrond community, but saw smoke coming from the nature reserve area and decided to look into it.

“I wanted to check what the nature of the smoke was, if any residents were in danger and came upon the attempts to set the recycling centre alight. 

"The residents swamped me and would not allow me to leave, nor law enforcement to enter by stoning their cars and then set mine alight,” said Gordon.

The City’s safety, security and social services executive director, Richard Bosman, said that law enforcement and police would remain in the area to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, Mitchells Plain ward councillor Sheval Arendse said that Sunday’s land invasion in Tafelsig had fallen flat as the invaders attempted to occupy land earmarked for the construction of a high school.

“A group under the banner of coloured and indigenous heritage has put a rallying call to the community to occupy this land in Tafelsig. 

"This land houses a temporary primary school and in September a high school will be built, which this community is in dire need of,” said Arendse.

He said once this had been explained to the residents the majority disbanded, with a small number remaining.

Arendse said that the group contained residents that either came from formal dwellings or lived in wendy houses in backyards and it quickly lost momentum.

Bosman said that a message circulating on social media for land invasion over the weekend was an attempt to drum up support.

He said four or five structures that had been erected yesterday were demolished.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said police and law enforcement were monitoring the area and residents had been informed that they would be arrested if any illegal structures were erected.

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Cape Times