WATCH: ‘30 houses demolished’

2017-04-20 14:00
Residents of an informal settlement in Mkondeni confront a man acting on behalf of a private company that tried to demolish newly built shacks.

Residents of an informal settlement in Mkondeni confront a man acting on behalf of a private company that tried to demolish newly built shacks. (Sabelo Nsele)

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Tempers flared at an informal settlement in Mkondeni when a private company tried to demolish shacks in the area on Wednesday.

Residents of the informal settlement were involved in a heated argument with the employees of the company, who were then forced out of the area by angry residents.

Community leader Nick Gebashe said he was puzzled why houses had been demolished when there was an ongoing high court case relating to the land.

“This land belongs to our forefathers who are buried here. We will not leave them here.

“Last week we were in court fighting the eviction and we are still going back in August.

“About 30 houses were demolished today and we do not know why.”

Gebashe said there was no prior warning issued before the houses were demolished.

“People are going to come back from work and find their houses demolished, with nowhere to go.”

Michael Swanepoel of Grant & Swanepoel Attorneys, which acts on behalf of the private company, said only new structures had been demolished.

“There is a notice which was given to people not to build but they keep on building,” he said.

The residents vowed to “fight until the end”.

“We are going nowhere.

“This land belongs to us,” said Gebashe.

He said that many of the residents had started living in the area as far as back he could remember, but added most of them had settled there in January 2016.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  land claims

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