More chaos warning

2014-09-08 00:00

MAYHEM continued in Woodlands over the weekend as angry residents barricaded the main road with burning tyres, huge stones and trees.

They closed the Otto’s Bluff Road to Claridge from Site 11, threatening this was a warning of more things to come if the court, on Thursday, does not grant them land to build their houses “after 22 years of empty promises”.

A Witness reporter was forced to run for cover after stones were thrown at him when he was trying to take pictures of the protest. They only allowed him an interview once some of them realised that he was from the press.

“We were kids when promises were made to our parents that phase 1 would be developed for housing but we now have our own children and nothing has happened,” said one protester, who did not want to be named.

The community members are complaining about the lack of development in the area — mainly housing — and the high unemployment rate. They are demanding to speak to Mayor Chris Ndlela and MEC for Co-operative Governance and Tradional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Stones were allegedly also thrown at motorists who were taking picture while passing by.

Some of the protesters claimed to be victims of racial slurs, with people from another community calling them “baboons” when they were demanding homes to be built for them.

In addition, they said the Msunduzi Municipality had no right to send in security officials to dismantle their homes, “despite the court order which had ruled that no houses must be demolished until the court looks at the matter on Thursday”.

Councillor Mary Schalkwyk said the situation was “under control”.

“The police are closely monitoring the situation. Residents are volatile … There is not much we can do. They don’t want to follow the right procedure,” Schalkwyk said.

The municipality could not be reached for comment.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

•thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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