Alex 'safety' demolition sparks anger, protests

2019-05-31 19:40
(@AsktheChiefJMPD - Twitter)

(@AsktheChiefJMPD - Twitter)

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Angry residents set alight two houses in Alexandra after 80 "unsafe" ones were demolished by order of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on Friday. 

JMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the evictions and demolition were necessary because people had constructed their houses too close to a river, adding that it was dangerous. 

However, the shock of seeing the Red Ants demolishing their houses in Setshwetla informal settlement had set people off.

The JMPD tweeted that the public order police had used rubber bullets and "pepper fog" on stone-throwing protesters. 

"Exercise extreme caution when travelling in that area," it warned

Minnaar said a claim that a baby had been killed when a house was demolished was untrue.

"They were so angry they set alight two houses. Those were bonded houses."

He said an elderly woman and children were in one of the bonded houses when it was set alight and they had to be taken to hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation. 

"From a safety point of view, the JMPD had to act," said Minnaar referring to the houses that were demolished. 

The SA Human Rights Commission's hearings on issues raised during the recent #AlexShutdown protests are expected to continue next week.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests  |  housing

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