Woodlands plot invaded by locals, protests follow

2018-05-29 06:00
A group of about 80 residents set up tents and structures on a field in Woodlands.

A group of about 80 residents set up tents and structures on a field in Woodlands.

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What started as a peaceful land invasion in Woodlands turned into complete chaos as hundreds of protestors have set traffic lights at a pedestrian crossing alight.

The group quickly grew to more than 100 people, gathered on the corners of Eros Way and Eisleben Road, burning tyres.

Protests started on Monday morning when the protestors blocked off the street with tyres and rubble. Protests escalated with reports of gangsters shooting live ammunition at police.

Trusted sources revealed to People’s Post that the area became volatile with at least one police van damaged. Police have also confirmed to People’s Post that a case of public violence was opened at Lentegeur Police Station.

“An incident occurred in Eisleben Road, Woodlands. At 11:30 a large group of residents were protesting and it is believed that a gang element from the Woodlands area fired several shots of live ammunition at police and Law Enforcement officers,” says provincial police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk.

There have also been reports of stone throwing.

The protests follow a foiled land invasion where a group of about 80 residents demarcated plots on an open field in Woodlands over the weekend, pitching tents.

The tents were removed by the Law Enforcement land invasion unit and the land was cleared on Sunday. In a now viral video, residents can be heard complaining about the prospect of land invasion from residents outside of Woodlands and decided to take over the land themselves.

These concerns also include “not being taken seriously” by the local municipality, stating they had been on the waiting list for more than 20 years, according to the video.

The protest follows a long list of recent invasions and protests across the city, noted with concern by authorities.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said in a statement: “I am deeply disturbed by the spate of land invasions which at times has been accompanied by violence and destruction of property around Cape Town. I also want to place it on record that the City of Cape Town will not tolerate land invasions in the city and law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to act against those who incite violence.”

Land invasions are illegal and pose fire, health and flood risks to our communities, her statement continued.

The area was still volatile, with the residents still protesting and shops being looted at the time of going to print, but no injuries had been reported.

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