Chief Kekana denies getting Hammanskraal eviction order

2016-05-27 22:38
Fires during protests burn in Hammanskraal (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Fires during protests burn in Hammanskraal (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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WATCH: Dead man's phone brings news of his murder

2016-05-27 15:55

Family members were called after forensics found their details in the phone of Elias Tshabalala, who was killed in Hammanskraal.WATCH

Pretoria - Chief Lleka Jacob Kekana of the Amandebele-A-Moletlane tribe, which owns the land under dispute in Hammanskraal, has denied allegations that he obtained a court order to evict people from his land.

"I did not apply for a court order, that was not me," he said on Friday.

Kekana explained that he would not have obtained a court order, as he had given people permission to live on his land in the past, but that those people were allegedly removed by the City of Tshwane.

"In 2013, I put people on the land, but the City of Tshwane came and demolished those shacks. They removed those people. I then stopped the process of land occupation until we could find an amicable solution."

He said, during that period, youngsters from the community had formed a committee which then approached him, saying they would place themselves on the land, with or without his approval. Kekana said he had told them he didn’t have a problem with that.

"They gave me a letter when they did that, which I still have in my house. I have been waiting since 2013 to today to hold talks regarding this process," he said.

Violence broke out in the area on Monday when employees of the Red Ants security company, SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police arrived to flatten shacks and evict people. Two employees of a security company - Lucky Nelushi and Elias Tshabalala - were killed during the protests.

Five people have since been arrested, one of them for murder. The evictions in the Kanana, Suurman and Sekampaneng informal settlements were suspended on Wednesday, following the violence.

Kekana’s denial follows an announcement by the City that the royal family had obtained a court order to remove people. Human settlements mayoral committee member Joshua Ngonyama said the City had not applied for a court order to evict residents of Kanana, Suurman and Sekampaneng.

He said the Kanana royal family got the order to evict them, and that the City was there merely to help enforce it.

Residents in the area were aggrieved because the City of Tshwane was named as an applicant on the eviction order, when, according to them, a councillor had given them permission to live on the land. They said they had paid between R350 and R2 000 for stands.

'The process has been stuck'

Ngonyama said the City had obtained a court order to remove all illegal informal settlements in Tshwane.

"The court order is still applicable everywhere in the city to enforce on people invading land. In this particular case, there was a misunderstanding, which is why we intervened as government. We will enforce it as and when it's necessary," he said.

Kekana said he allocated land to at least 800 people on his land in 2013 when they were removed by the City.

Queen Florah Kekana added that after those people were removed they had asked them to do things legally and involve the City.

"When they came back with the letter to say they would be occupying the land, we asked them to wait until the matter could be taken to the court to ensure they don’t get evicted again. The process has been stuck on the point of going to the court to legalise it," she said.

Read more on:    pretoria

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