Pretoria ward councillor's house ransacked

2014-11-12 18:14
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

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Johannesburg - The house of the ward councillor in Nellmapius, Pretoria, where residents attempted a "land grab", was ransacked on Wednesday, Tshwane city council Chief Whip Jabu Mabona said.

Around 11:00 residents allegedly broke into the home of Councillor Precious Marole, breaking windows and a door, and stole items including a television, he said.

No one was in the house at the time of the break-in, he said.

Police could not immediately confirm the incident.

Since Sunday, residents had been trying to erect shacks on land in Nellmapius, which had been earmarked for low-cost housing.

Mabona said he received a phone call from Marole on Tuesday evening.

"He said there was a land invasion taking place. I said he must communicate that with the police.

"Then I was told today [Wednesday] that the situation got worse and many people were invading the land."

"I am going to meet [Marole] now and we will make the necessary arrangements for accommodation."

He said that usually it was the ward councillor's responsibility to communicate with residents about issues such as plans for housing developments.

Mabona said it was not too late to engage residents about the land.

"If there is still a misunderstanding, we are ready to correct what has caused such a rupture. We don't condone violence."

Earlier, Tshwane metro police fired rubber bullets at residents.

Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said residents regrouped around 08:30, after they were dispersed with rubber bullets the previous day.

"Today [Wednesday] they tried to erect shacks. We spoke to the people who identified themselves as the leaders and explained that they are not supposed to erect those shacks."

Removal of shacks

During the negotiations with the crowd, the leaders demanded to speak to Marole, but he was busy with other commitments, Mahamba said.

"A service provider came and removed those shacks, that might have sparked them to anger.

"We tried to disperse them because they started burning tyres on streets, throwing stones [at police]."

No one was arrested and no reports of injuries had been received, Mahamba said.

Metro police would keep watch over the area.

Earlier EFF Nellmapius branch chairperson Vusi Msiza said the "land invasion" began on Sunday.

"We found people on the land who were trying to erect shacks," he told residents earlier.

"As the EFF found them here, then we decided to support the community because we are all affected by this."

At Parliament on Wednesday, EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu told journalists that there was nothing wrong with the attempt at occupying the land.

"There is nothing wrong in it. If government delays allocating land people must occupy it. We are not condemning the fighters who took the action in Pretoria," he said.

Read more on:    eff  |  pretoria  |  land  |  crime  |  protests

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