‘Squatters’ don’t heed court

2017-04-18 06:00
One of the squatter houses on the Wingfield open land in Kensington PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

One of the squatter houses on the Wingfield open land in Kensington PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Kensington residents are worried about illegal residents who keep going back to the Wingfield open land despite a court order to prevent them from staying there.

The residents’ frustration follows allegations that five Wendy houses were snuck to the bush on Friday at about 20:00.

According to one resident these houses were delivered on a bakkie by a group of men who rushed them in to the bush. These illegal residents are reportedly turning the Wingfield military base land into a squatter camp.

When People’s Post visited the area one of the squatters said his family had permission to stay there since 2010 and never had trouble with the law. However, he said, they have witnessed a number of illegal residents arriving at night but ending up in trouble with the law.

“We don’t like that either, but we cannot do anything,” he told People’s Post. “Those people are dangerous, they have tried to burn down our house several times because when they get caught they think we reported them to the police. Look at us, we have permits and are not involved in any illegal activities. If they keep coming they will ruin things for us. We hope the law enforcement will eventually succeed in preventing them from coming here.”

Mogamat Nordien, a street committee member, says: “I did not actually see them moving on to the land but I know for a fact that we are not happy with their move. They know they are not welcome and will be ­removed.

“We have seen what happened to those areas they invaded before. They bring a criminal element and we would not want that here in Kensington. This is a very peaceful area, we just don’t want them here.”

The area’s ward councillor, Hellen Jacobs, says her committee together with the police are trying their best to keep illegal squatters out of that space but the battle never ends.

She says in February the community got a court order authorising the removal and prevention of any unlawful people from occupying the land.

Kensington police spokesperson Sergeant David Stemmet says: “There is a court order in place against any land invasion on those premises. The City land invasion unit is aware of the situation and will act against any member of the public.”

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