Shack dwellers torch councillor's home

2013-08-15 22:04

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Johannesburg - An ANC councillor's house was burnt down in Duduza, near Nigel, on the East Rand, on Thursday, the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality said.

Ward 84 Councillor Silas Letsema's house was set alight with his two young children inside, spokesperson Sam Modiba said.

Both escaped unharmed.

Letsema was not home at the time.

Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said the house was one of two that were torched, allegedly by local residents whose illegally-built shacks were demolished in Tsakane Extension 17.

Mekgwe said the Tsakane shacks were demolished because they were built on government-owned land used for one of two RDP housing projects in the area.

Those living on the land had paid R70 to individuals who had allegedly falsely promised them RDP houses.

When the demolition crew arrived residents began pulling down their shacks and torched the home of a man who allegedly sold them the land illegally.

"In venting out their anger, the residents also burnt down the house of [Letsema]."

Mekgwe called on people to first ask the human settlements department if they were approached to buy land, to prevent being exploited by land-selling syndicates.

Council speaker Patricia Kumalo said: "The vandalising and damaging of public and private property can never be justifiable under any circumstances."

Modiba said a case of malicious damage to property and arson would be opened on Thursday afternoon.

Read more on:    anc  |  ntombi mekgwe  |  johannesburg  |  housing

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