Violence erupts in Khayelitsha
Sandiso Phaliso and Siyavuya Mzantsi
A CAR was torched and three people were injured when their vehicles were stoned in Khayelitsha, and the N2 was closed last night.
Violent protests erupted after people who had invaded land near the township’s Nolungile train station were evicted.
Police fired rubber bullets and lobbed stun grenades at a crowd.
Hundreds of backyarders and informal settlement residents occupied the land on Monday and marked out plots.
The landowner, arms manufacturer Denel went to court for an order to prevent more people from invading the land. Land adjacent to Denel’s was city-owned.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the N2 near to Mew Way was closed after protesters blocked the road.
“The situation is very tense now. Apparently there were vehicles that were stoned, but we are not sure if there were any injuries,” said Africa.
Earlier police dispersed people who protested against the eviction. Protesters went on the rampage and vented their anger on local businesses and passing motorists.
Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana said a delivery truck was looted. A vehicle was involved in an accident after the driver tried to drive away from an angry mob, he said.
In another incident, the driver of a bakkie was injured when stones were hurled at his vehicle.
In a third incident, two men whose car was stoned at the Jafta Masemola and Mew Way intersection were injured and rushed to hospital when their vehicle collided with another as they tried to swerve away from protesters.
Kinana confirmed that a Metrorail fence was destroyed, rubbish was burnt in the road, businesses were stoned and properties damaged in different parts of Khayelitsha
“During these incidents, people were injured. One person has been arrested for theft. More arrests are expected as processes of investigations continue,” Kinana said
He said police would maintain a strong presence.
“Lawlessness will not be tolerated by the police and those identified and found to be involved in these criminal activities will surely be brought before justice,” said Kinana.
The protests started in the morning. Denel had obtained an interim interdict on Tuesday night.
Community leader Nzuzo Nceku, 40, said the land invaders became angry when the city’s law enforcement and police dismantled their shacks.
”The court interdict was not an eviction order, but an interim that prevented new shacks from being erected. What they did was unlawful and is not what the court order stipulated.
“They should not have removed people from the land. They messed up and we are not going to leave it without a fight,” said Nkomfa.
Mayoral committee member for human settlements Benedicta van Minnen said there were two incidents of attempted land invasion recently.
“Attempted land invasions have occurred on erf 52676 in Khayelitsha. This land is owned by the national state-owned entity Denel SOC. An attempted land invasion also took place on city-owned land in Khayelitsha.
“This land is a road reserve in TR Section. The unlawfully invaded land has been cleared by the responsible and respective landowners… The unoccupied and also semi-erected structures have been removed in accordance with the law.”