Western Cape human settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers during a visit to the construction site at the Forest Village Housing project in Eersterivier, Cape Town.  File Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Western Cape human settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers during a visit to the construction site at the Forest Village Housing project in Eersterivier, Cape Town. File Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Western Cape MEC condemns murder, violence at construction sites

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jun 8, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape human settlements MEC, Tertuis Simmers, on Monday expressed concern following “horrendous crimes” being committed at construction sites in Cape Town that included murder. 

“I am disgusted, deeply concerned and in fact, angry at the actions of a small group of people who have committed horrendous crimes, allegedly all in the name of seeking a housing or job opportunity,” Simmers said in a statement.

A week ago, a community liaison officer at the Boys Town construction site in Nyanga, was shot and killed while on her way to work. 

Simmers conveyed his condolences to the woman's family, friends and the company she was contracted to. Police are investigating the incident. 

Prior to the killing, a ward councillor and her son were also shot and had to be hospitalised. 

This, along with further threats of violence and intimidation, led to the temporary closure of the Boys Town site. Simmers said the project had a violent history. 

“I have also requested a full report from my department, so that we can get to the bottom of what is transpiring at this site,” the MEC said.

Also last week, at Forest Village in Eersterivier, a group of residents assaulted a contractor and intimidated staff at the construction site. 

Simmers said his department would be filing papers in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday to seek an urgent interdict against the group in order to prevent them from interfering in the construction, and to stop them intimidating, threatening, assaulting or harassing those involved in the project. 

“I also condemn all these actions in the strongest possible terms. Criminality does not have any place on any of our sites nor in society as a whole. This is nothing but pure thuggery and these thugs are denying many vulnerable people who've been on the housing waiting list for many [years] an opportunity to move into their homes,” he said. 

Large numbers of units at both sites were close to completion, said the MEC, adding that the violent incidents would delay handovers to the deserving beneficiaries. 

“I call on the SAPS and all other law enforcement agencies to seek out and arrest these perpetrators, so that they can face the full might of the law. 

"I urge law abiding community members to share any information they might have with the law enforcement agencies, so that these thugs can be brought to book. The judiciary should not be lenient on these transgressors and should instead make an example that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated or condoned,” said Simmers.

African News Agency

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