Land ‘grabbers’ refuse to budge

2017-11-16 06:01

TENSION ran high and police were called to monitor the
situation after a team attempted to demolish informal
structures in Hazelmere outside Verulam on Tuesday, November 7, but angry residents stopped them.

The Weekly has since learnt that the houses are built on privately owned land.

A resident, who was at the meeting, but wished to remain anonymous told the Weekly: “The land invasion unit came and threw out our belongings.

“They told residents they had come to demolish our houses.

“We called the Verulam
SAPS. Residents threatened to burn tyres and protest should they continue breaking down the houses,” he said.

Some residents said they have been living in the area for more than 20 years.

“They told us that the owner of the land obtained a court order to demolish the houses.

“However, after a tense discussion between residents and police, it was agreed that the issue would be discussed later this week.

“Some of these houses are structures built with blocks.

“They are not shacks,” the source said.

Ward councillor Fakazi Mdletshe said he received a complaint
from residents alerting him
about confrontation between
residents and the land invasion team.

“The area committee mem-
bers had a discussion with the
owner of the land, and in my understanding, no houses were demolished.”

A ward committee member
Xolani Mthembu said: “We are in negotiations with the owner of the land.

“We scheduled a meeting to solve this matter peacefully without demolishing houses.

“People invaded the land and that prompted the owner to obtain a court order to demolish the illegal structures on his land.”

SAPS Verulam spokesperson Captain Henry Kisten said the police responded to a call in Hazelmere where a land invasion unit was attempting to demolish illegal structures.

“The police monitored the situation.”

Attempts to get a comment from the owner of the land were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.

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