Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. File photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg’s Metro police have asked the provincial police commissioner to establish a task team to investigate those behind illegal land occupations in Lenasia and surrounding areas which residents say are politically orchestrated, mayor Herman Mashaba said on Tuesday.

Angry residents blocked roads leading into parts of Lenasia South, Ennerdale and Zakariyya Park on Friday and Saturday to protest the illegal occupation of land and construction of shacks on it.

"With investigations being the constitutionally determined preserve of the SAPS (South African Police Service), the city is reliant upon the SAPS to investigate," Mashaba said in a statement.

He said he had met Lenasia residents on Monday who alleged the land occupations were politically orchestrated.

"These residents are in possession of evidence which demonstrates how money is exchanging hands, and already made-up shacks are being issued to those willing to pay for a piece of land where the occupations are taking place," Mashaba said.

"Those behind these occupations are being witnessed driving around the area in high-end luxury vehicles, as a testament to the lucrative nature of their criminal activity."

African News Agency (ANA)