“We will be back”- evictees

2015-05-07 06:00
A group of residents were unsuccesful in their move to invade the vacant land next to Joe Gqabi station, on Wednesday, but they vowed to be last ones standing.                            

Mbongiseni Maseko

A group of residents were unsuccesful in their move to invade the vacant land next to Joe Gqabi station, on Wednesday, but they vowed to be last ones standing. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Evicted Philippi residents who illegally occupied vacant land have vowed to move back, even as police and Law Enforcement officers vowed to evict them again.

They arrived at the site armed with tools to clean the bush next to Joe Gqabi station and also with ropes to mark their yards, before the police instructed them to disperse at about 7am.

They came from Gugulethu, Marcus Garvey, Lower Crossroads, Marikana, KTC and other surrounding areas.

Xolani Joja, Sanco chairperson in Philippi, who facilitated a meeting with the residents in the area, encouraged them to invade the land.

“We encourage them to build their shacks in the land. They must not only mark their territories, but they must build. They have a right to take the land, because it belongs to their forefathers. Residents will fight successfully for the land as they did in Marikana. Police must stop arresting residents or shoot at them when they take land,” he said.

Joja said the residents took a decision to come back before midnight to erect their shacks.

He also said there was a decision that has been taken, but it was not clear by who, which will see all vacant spaces around the province being forcefully occupied by those who are in need to build shacks.

Councillor Patrick Pietersen, of Ward 88, said he was “not aware” about the land invasion and that he was going to make a follow up.

Pietersen also said it was not immediately clear who owns the land.

The number of residents who wanted to occupy the land was not clear.

Sphokazi Quphe, 32, said she will also stop at nothing to erect her shack in the area.

Quphe, who rents a room at the back of a house in Gugulethu, said she wants a space of her own now.

“I will come back here to erect my shack. It has always been my dream to have my own space,” she said.

She stays alone in the room that she rents and she is unemployed.

Joseph Makeleni, 44, who owns a shack in Marikana, said he came to support the residents, because they also supported them to win their effort to win their area, about 10 months ago.

“People will keep on occupying every vacant land they see. The projects to build RDP houses were stopped and we do not know why. Residents resort to violence, because there are no service deliveries in their areas. We will continue taking the land,” Makeleni said

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