Protest against demolitions in Lenasia

2012-11-09 10:07
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Lenasia protests

Protests broke out in Lenasia, Johannesburg, after 37 houses were bulldozed. See the pictures.

Johannesburg - A group of Lenasia South residents protested on Friday against the destruction of homes by the local government, Gauteng police said.

The protesters barricaded roads and set tyres on fire in extension 13 on Thursday evening, said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.

The protests continued on Friday morning.

He said no one had been arrested or injured.

AFP quoted Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane as saying there are about 200 protesters.

"They are not violent but there are big rocks, we're trying to clean and clear up the rocks and see if we can be able to open the road for a free flow of traffic."

Illegally built houses

The protests came after the destruction of 37 of 113 houses which the Gauteng department of housing said were illegally built on land intended for government houses.

"Investigations by the department's anti-fraud and corruption unit revealed that fraudsters sold several stands [for amounts] ranging from R2 500 to R95 000, and issued buyers with fraudulent deeds of sale which bore the department's official logo," it said in a statement on Thursday.

The department said the destruction of the houses would continue on Friday.

Spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said owners would not be compensated for the losses.

He said residents were told not build houses on the land in 2006 and that a court order was obtained to stop them from building, but that a syndicate had convinced them otherwise.

Motlhaolwa said three members of the syndicate were arrested for fraud in 2009 and had since been jailed.

"They forged the HOD's signature and used department's letter head," he said.

He said investigations were still continuing and more arrests could be made.

Makhubela said the police would continue to monitor the protest.

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