'Political instigators' blamed for land grabs
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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is set to lay criminal charges against “political instigators” of a spate of illegal land invasions which have hit the metropole in recent days.
Metro Police and the SA Police Service officers were called to intervene in at least three land grabs in Khayelitsha, Wallacedene and Kalkfontein in the past week.
“The City is investigating reports of possible political interference pertaining to the Kalkfontein violence but it must be emphasised that a trend of political instigation is already visible in the attempted land invasions which have taken place recently, including in Khayelitsha,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for human settlements Benedicta van Minnen.
“We condemn land invasions and the incitement to invade State- or privately-owned land in the strongest possible terms. We urge residents not to be misled by miscreants who are preying on the poor to build their political profiles and to create havoc in the city.”
On Sunday night, a group of protestors who were prevented from invading land in Kalkfontein, near Kuils River, set a church alight.
“We will not tolerate this behaviour, which is placing strain on the City’s law enforcement agencies, the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the City’s broader service delivery efforts at the expense of law-abiding residents,” said Van Minnen.
“The City will use every available resource at its disposal to prevent land invasions and we will make sure that those who are responsible for any incitement to violence, land invasions and other criminal acts face the full consequences of the law.”
Van Minnen declined to name the politicians the City would be laying charges against regarding the Kalkfontein incident.
The City had, however, already laid charges against Economic Freedom Fighters Western Cape leader Nazier Paulsen who led a group of people to occupy land in Khayelitsha during the Easter weekend.
The City had since managed to remove the structures erected on the land next to the Nolungile railway station.
Law enforcement officers were also called to Wallacedene in Kraaifontein at the weekend. Thirty four structures were removed from the land.
The City on Monday called on private landowners to contact the City and relevant law enforcement agencies if they detect the illegal occupation of land.
“Landowners need to act immediately,” said Van Minnen.
“If landowners or residents are aware of any other illegal activity, such as political instigation or criminality, they must approach the SAPS to conduct an investigation and for assistance.”