Khayelitsha residents sang protest songs outside the court building where Denel's application for the eviction of the Khayelitsha land invaders was heard.

Cape Town - Violence flared as Site C, Khayelitsha, residents returned to rebuild shacks on Saturday on Denel-owned land in Cape Town from which they had been removed after police intervention earlier this month.

Smoke rose as residents burnt bushes to clear land so more people could erect shacks.

When police arrived, the shack dwellers took to the streets and threw stones at a passing Golden Arrow bus, putting passengers to flight, with some even leaving handbags behind.

Police threw stun grenades at the crowd and fired bullets. Some in the crowd threw stones at the police.

Worried residents diverted traffic, warning motorists that they ran the risk of their cars being stoned.

When comment was sought from people in the crowd, they said: “We are not talking to journalists today.

“Just go away.”

They threw stones at the photographer who was taking pictures.

Meanwhile, opposite Lookout Hill, some Khayelitsha residents, whose building materials were confiscated by the city when they first moved on to the land earlier this month, returned with new material to build shacks.

Nonkululeko Mlokoti, sitting on a crate protecting her goods, said:

“They took my material the last time, but I managed to buy new material. We won’t stop until we get this land. We’ll fight till we die.”

Mlokoti said she lived with her husband and three young men in a one-roomed shack.

“My husband and I can’t even enjoy the pleasures of being married because there are always other people.”

Andisa Poponi said she had been paying rent as a backyarder for a long time.

It was time she got her own place, she added. “I’m tired of paying rent because it’s expensive, and having to share a one-roomed shack with other family members means here’s no privacy.”

Poponi said the land they were invading was not being used.

“This land is a total waste because it’s just here, not being used for anything.

“I don’t see what’s the problem when we build houses here.”

Weekend Argus