EFF’s Khayelitsha land grabs: City council fights back

2015-04-07 16:45

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The City of Cape Town has vowed to lay a number of charges against the Economic Freedom Fighters for championing the illegal occupation of land in Khayelitsha.

Speaking to City Press today, City mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said action would be taken against EFF Western Cape leader Nazier Paulsen and MP Bernard Joseph.

Yesterday, the two leaders led residents in a land invasion in the township.

The party has been encouraging land invasions in various parts of the country this week, which marks 363 years since Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival in South Africa.

“Mr Paulsen and Mr Joseph have breached the code of conduct with regard to public representation. They are duty bound in terms of their positions in the legislature to uphold the law and they have failed to do this,” said Smith.

He added that the EFF would have to answer for the conditions in which people would be living in the settlements.

“For everyone who is raped and burnt to death, the EFF will be responsible.”

Paulsen did not seem concerned with the charges levelled against him.

“It is amusing because they have failed to provide people with housing for 21 years now. The city should be concerning themselves with offering housing and basic services to these people who need it the most and not with picking battles with the EFF who are doing right by the people.”

Paulsen said these kinds of acts had always been the policy of the EFF and that they would continue to support people who required their assistance.

Asked about the owners of the land, Paulsen said: “The land is lying vacant and unused; it belongs to the people.”

Smith, however, said a portion of the land belonged to the city and the rest was owned by state-owned defence technology conglomerate Denel.

He added that it was impossible for the city to provide services on privately owned land and that they would be going back to the occupied sites as many times as it was necessary to remove the illegal structures.

The city would be laying charges against the EFF leaders relating to inciting public violence and knowingly encouraging criminal activity in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act, which deals with land grabs, as well as a breach of the code of conduct with regards to public representation.

“They are duty bound in terms of their positions in legislature to uphold the law and they have failed to do this,” Smith said.

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