‘Beware, motorists!’

2019-08-08 06:02
A protester is seen holding a banner on the N2, where the Sinqaw’nqawu Camp threatens to send a strong, violent message to passing motorists. Inset: The letter signed by Sinqaw’nqawu which threatens an never-ending battle over the disputed land along the highway.

A protester is seen holding a banner on the N2, where the Sinqaw’nqawu Camp threatens to send a strong, violent message to passing motorists. Inset: The letter signed by Sinqaw’nqawu which threatens an never-ending battle over the disputed land along the highway.

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Agroup of people calling themselves the Sinqaw’nqawu Camp have threatened to send out a “heavy message” to Asla, the construction company that owns a disputed patch of land along the N2 that, until recently, was the site of an informal settlement.

In a voice note sent to City Vision, the group has threatened to hurl objects at motorists who pass the site. Recent weeks have seen a spate of incidents in which vehicles were attacked on the N2, the most recent involving an ambulance last week (“Rock hurled at ambulance”, City Vision, 1 August).

Another incident involved an Intercape bus full of passengers being attacked, and another a delivery truck.

In the voice note, a threat is also made to Asla’s attorney, who is warned to “think twice” before saying anything in court on Thursday (today) on the land issue.

The company will uphold its right to block people from putting shacks up on the land, which has been rezoned for industrial and commercial purposes.

“The people who will be hurt will be people travelling from Grabouw,” the voice note said. “If they use the N2 they will be our victims, and then Asla can take full responsibility for those who get hurt.”

The group also claims it has written a letter to the company threatening a never-ending battle if they don’t “engage” them, in which “innocent people would always be affected”.

The letter, which is in the possession of City Vision, states: “The reason we are looking forward to owning [sic] the above-mentioned plot (ERF 21206) is that we see no reason for Asla to own a piece of land in our location when we homeless backyarders and disabled don’t have a place to live in.”

The group also confirmed it was they who protested on the N2 on Sunday 4 August to draw attention to the land issue.

Ziziyalo Madolo, chairperson of Sinqaw’nqawu Camp, said it will bring about a total shutdown if there was nothing tangible to come out on Thursday.

“We are tired of protesting sitting down, if nothing concrete emerges on Thursday,” the father of two explained.

“A total shutdown must be expected.”

He added that the group will destroy property “as other areas do when they fight for something”.

Madolo says the group has plans to erect shacks on the disputed land, and all it needed from government are services such as electricity, toilets and water.

“We don’t want RDP houses – we will build houses ourselves,” he said.

“About a thousand people are with us in this struggle for housing, but those in dire need of land number around 60, and they have nowhere else to go.”

Lwandle police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama said a case of public violence was opened following Sunday’s protest.

“Residents were burning tyres on the corner of N2 and Hlathi Drive,” he said. “No-one has been arrested in connection with the incident.”

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