Cape land invaders refuse to move

By Matthew van Schalkwyk Time of article published Apr 13, 2015

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Cape Town - Illegal land invasions have spread across Cape Town from Khayelitsha, Kalkfontein near Bonteheuwel and now to Wallacedene in Kraaifontein.

JP Smith, the mayco member of safety and security for the City of Cape Town, said seven people who occupied land illegally in Kalkfontein were arrested on Saturday.

“There were protesters in the area who were burning tyres and throwing stones near the lane of the R300 earlier on Saturday afternoon. And, firemen in Hamilton Estate were also assaulted after trying to put out a fire. One man was injured and the others refused to go back to control the fire because of the danger that they were in,” Smith said.

In light of the sporadic land grabs that took place across the city last week, Smith provided a breakdown of the city’s intervention.

“(A total of) 20 illegal structures and 920 pegs were destroyed in Khayelitsha, 100 pegs were destroyed in Lwandle (Strand). Thirteen illegal structures were demolished in Kalkfontein.”

He said public spaces in Wallacedene were under threat. “More of these illegal structures are being erected. (On Sunday) police will be in the area to stop these structures from disturbing public spaces.”

When the Cape Argus visited Kalkfontein on Sunday, people remained defiant and continued to erect illegal structures, saying they have nowhere else to go.

Elliot Malgas was adamant that he and his family would not move willingly. “We still want to build here. On Saturday, law enforcement demolished our homes but we haven’t got any other place to stay.”

After being evicted, Malgas said: “It was terrible, I am not happy. Everyone here has bought all the materials for their houses, now we have to spend more money to build. I have lost my TV, clothes and even my ID.”

He said this was the third time in one week that their homes were destroyed.

A church was set alight during the violent protest.

“It’s confirmed that the church has been set alight. Apparently it appears it was set alight by protestors,” said police spokesman Colonel Thembinkosi Kinana.

No injuries were reported.

“No arrests have been made so far. The investigation is still ongoing,” said Kinana.

Joshua Njingo, who was shot in the head on Saturday said: “They came to shoot at us while we were building. It’s terrible. The South African law enforcement can’t just come from behind and just shoot you.”

Banele Ntlangani, 22, another Kalkfontein resident, feared losing his eight-month-old baby, Uminati.

“We were busy building and law enforcement came. They said they were here just to break the shacks without people living inside them. Afterwards they surrounded the whole area with hippos and then just broke all the houses.”

Police spokesman Colonel Thembinkosi Kinana said: “Eight protesters were arrested for public violence on Sunday and they are expected to appear in court (Monday).”

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Cape Argus and ANA

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