Bail in land grab case

2017-05-03 13:45
A municipal worker was among the 11 suspects arrested for invading municipal and privately owned land.

A municipal worker was among the 11 suspects arrested for invading municipal and privately owned land. (File)

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Nine of the 11 suspects who were arrested at the weekend for one of the biggest land invasions in the city, were granted bail at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Two other suspects, both Malawi nationals, were denied bail as they could not produce valid travel documents in court.

Magistrate Variksha Premraj said the two foreign nationals would remain in custody to give the court time to verify if they had travel documents and if those documents were still valid.

The 11 suspects, including two women, were arrested on Friday and charged with trespassing and invasion of municipal and privately owned land after they had allegedly invaded land near the Grange.

Premraj granted the nine suspects bail ranging from R300 to R500 and ordered the accused to reappear in court on June 12.

It was also revealed in court that one of the suspects works for the Msunduzi Municipality.

The 11 suspects are alleged to be among other local land grabbers who marked plots across wards 13, 23 and 24 with red and white plastic tape, plastic bags and string during Friday’s land grab spree.

The land grabbers invaded a stretch of land earmarked for the extension of Archie Gumede Road leading to the city’s newest private health facility under development, to be named the Eden Gardens Hospital.

The accused allegedly also invaded land opposite the Westgate social housing project recently launched by President Jacob Zuma.

Ward 23 councillor Dumisani Phungula previously told The Witness that the city had an interim court interdict preventing people from invading the land, which he said has been earmarked for community projects.

Phungula added that the problem of land invasions had been ongoing for about six years now.

The names of the 11 suspects are Thobile Xaba , Gugu Mkhize, Mvelo Msweli, Zwelithini Mtolo, Zwelakhe Ntanzi, Lucky Khumalo, Hector Molefe, Mthobisi Mhlongo, Mzwandile Ndamane, Peterson Banda and Makina Sanga.

It is unclear how Friday’s land invasion started.

The case is proceeding.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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