Police fire rubber bullets during Pretoria ‘land grab’

2014-11-12 14:01

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Residents of Nellmapius, east of Pretoria, who tried to illegally occupy land, dispersed this afternoon after rubber bullets were fired at them.

Just before 1pm, people threw stones at the metro police, who retaliated by firing rubber bullets.

The stone-throwers ran into the informal settlement to hide and the metro police, in a Nyala, pursued them firing more rubber bullets.

A few minutes later the residents began emerging again.

Prior to this, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters set off in search of the ward councillor Precious Marole.

The Nyala came out of the informal settlement and followed this group up the street, and then fired more rubber bullets. This group apparently had not thrown objects at the metro police.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

According to EFF Nellmapius branch chairperson Vusi Msiza the land invasion began on Sunday.

“We found people on the land who were trying to erect shacks,” he told residents earlier.

“As the EFF found them here, then we decided to support the community because we are all affected by this.”

He said people were tired of waiting for RDP houses, but wanted land on which to build their own houses.

ANC Gauteng spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli yesterday said the land had been earmarked for low-cost housing development.

EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party supported land expropriation but would not directly comment on the events in Nellmapius.

“If branches of the EFF have taken the initiative to join homeless communities, even if they are leading, as we always said we will be at centre of community protest struggles ... they are acting within the [ambit] of EFF policies.”

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