Lwandle Commission: The police damaged my belongings

By Drum Digital
31 July 2014

They said our property and material was being kept somewhere but according to my information, the possibility is high that they went to throw it away somewhere.

A student who spoke at the Lwandle commission said his belongings were damaged when their shack was demolished.

Sisanda Mbayimbayi is a 26 year-old student who spoke today, saying she lost valuable schooling equipment among other things.

"They demolished the structure with my property inside and took it, loaded it onto the truck and left with it," Mbayimbayi said.

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She first moved onto the controversial piece of land in December after deciding that the backyard structure she lived in with her sister in Zola was too crowded.

She had seen other people building structures and decided she would do the same.

Mbayimbayi said a man called Chris warned them to stay off the land but they rebuilt their structures because they saw that five were still standing.

She was surprised when she saw police officers and city law enforcement on the land on June 2.

They told the shack dwellers to retrieve their possessions within 10 minutes, which she said this was impossible.

"While I was busy trying to get my property, the only thing I could get hold of was my haversack with my identity documents and while I was busy, police started shooting."

She said police played "hide-and-seek" with residents by forcing them to run in one direction and then pushing them back to where they had run from.

On the second day of removals, she said she saw city police chasing, assaulting, and arresting people.

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