Residents cry foul as shacks are razed

2017-05-11 06:00
Bongani Khungeka and Scelo Letlele, Committee members at Gardens, Khayelitsha, are not happy after their shacks were demolished, last Wednesday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

Bongani Khungeka and Scelo Letlele, Committee members at Gardens, Khayelitsha, are not happy after their shacks were demolished, last Wednesday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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Harare shack dwellers are pointing a finger at their councillor, alleging he is responsible for the recent demolitions.

The residents, who have occupied a place called the Gardens, are adamant that Ward 98 Councillor Anele Gabuza is behind their recent misery.

Gabuza, on the other hand, maintains that the occupiers were doing so illegally.

Bongani Khungeka, a committee member in the area, has directly implicated Gabuza for sending Law Enforcement to demolish their shacks without notice.

He said some of the 16 shacks that were demolished have been in the area for four years.

“We were not even given a notice that our shacks were going to be demolished. We only saw the Law Enforcement coming to demolish.

They pepper-sprayed us and broke our furniture. Some of us have to look for a place to sleep at our friends.

We have nowhere to go. We never saw the councillor coming here. We wrote three letters to him in the past asking to meet with him, but he never responded,” Khungeka said.

Mzwamadoda Zilindile, a resident, said there was a lot of bias in favour of others in the process of demolition the shacks.

“The shacks that were targeted here are for those he(Gabuza) does not like and the shacks for the people he likes were not destroyed. There are shacks that have been here for two weeks, but they were not demolished and those that have been here for years were demolished,” Zilindile said.

Scelo Letlele, a committee member, said their building materials were badly destroyed in a way that they could not reutilise them to rebuild their shacks.

Letlele also said other residents were at work when their shacks were demolished.

Nosiphiwo Mbula said she has lost money and a cellphone during the razing of their shacks.

However, Mbula’s shack was not demolished, but her burglar-bars and doors were forcefully opened.

She has not open a case with police.

Gabuza said the Law Enforcement acted within the law to demolish the shacks which were built illegally on the land belonging to the City of Cape Town.

“The residents in the area all belong under me and I do not take sides. The shacks that were demolished are those that were built illegally two days before.”

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