‘Hands off city’s land’

2010-06-15 00:00

THE high court in Pietermaritzburg has granted a final order putting a stop to an attempted land invasion on municipal property said to be earmarked for use as a park in the Blackridge area.

The court order follows a bid by up to 100 people to take possession of the land during March.

Judge David Ntshangase granted a final order yesterday against T. Luthuli, M.V. Dumakude, M.V. Shange, S.C. Kheswa and “all unlawful occupants” of the property situated in Albany Road in Blackridge.

In terms of the court order, the respondents are interdicted from occupying and erecting any structures on the land.

In an affidavit before the court, the then acting municipal manager, Kevin Perumal, said he was advised by the deputy municipal manager (community services), Zwelithini Hulane, on the afternoon of March 12 that people were in the process of invading the property.

The municipal security services subsequently worked overtime during the weekend to prevent the invasion and remove any structures that were put up.

Despite these efforts and attempted negotiations with representatives of the group, the invaders maintained a “threatening presence” on the fringes of the land.

They challenged the municipality’s ownership of the property and the extent of the boundaries of the property, Perumal added.

By the following Tuesday, the number of people at the site had grown from around 40 to 100 and the situation became tense.

Police were called in to maintain peace.

The alleged illegal occupiers of the land had initially noted their intention to oppose the municipality’s application for a court interdict, but no further documents were filed on their behalf.

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