Car set alight during violent protest in Lenasia

2019-08-01 12:44
(Supplied, @FaizelPatel143 Twitter)

(Supplied, @FaizelPatel143 Twitter)

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A car was set alight overnight when residents of Narens Farm informal settlement in Lenasia South embarked on a violent protest over the demolition of their shacks.

The protest began on Wednesday night and escalated into the early hours of Thursday. Vehicles driving along the K43 were pelted.

The residents said they protested because the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) demolished their shacks.

"Where do they want us to go to? We have no place to stay. If they want us to go they must provide us with an alternative piece of land where we will erect our shacks," Thabo Mosia said. He said prior notification of the demolition had not been given to them.

Mosia also accused JMPD officers of giving them a tough time.

"They come here every week to demolish our shacks and take our materials away," he said.

READ: Lenasia residents, alleged land invaders face off

Tumelo Motloung added: "Many of us were away at work when we were informed that JMPD officers are removing our shacks again. We rushed back to our informal settlement and started protesting.

"Some cars were pelted with stones after motorists opened fire at us. We had to defend ourselves from gunshots by retaliating with stones. I don't know when this car was set alight, but it was burnt late at night."

Motloung pleaded with the government to let them live in peace.

"They must leave us alone. We are not fighting with anyone but looking for a permanent place to stay. There is no peace here since we arrived in April. Every week we are attacked and we are ready to protect our homes and families," he said.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Khalipha Mvula said they were investigating four cases of malicious damage to property after vehicles were stoned.

"Since last night, we have opened four cases of malicious damage to property. We are aware of a vehicle that was set alight and the owner has not opened a case. We were informed that upon being attacked by demonstrators, occupants of the vehicle fled on foot leaving the car behind and it was ultimately set alight," said Mvula. 

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