Ironside land invaders given until Monday to vacate their shacks

2019-04-24 19:31
Red Ants waiting to evict land invaders in Ironside in the Vaal (Ntwaagae Seleka)

Red Ants waiting to evict land invaders in Ironside in the Vaal (Ntwaagae Seleka)

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Midvaal local municipality has given angry residents who have invaded a piece of land in Ironside outside Vereeniging, a week to vacate the municipal land. 

On Wednesday morning, scores of Red Ants arrived in 15 trucks and other vehicles armed with crowbars to execute an eviction order which was obtained by Midvaal municipality.

They remained outside their vehicles which were parked at the De Deur police station, awaiting orders from their seniors to begin evictions.

While Red Ants were waiting for orders, land invaders began barricading streets near the police station, setting tyres and other objects alight.

The invaders, who were armed with an assortment of weapons, including spades, spears, pangas, knobkieries and machetes, threatened violence against the Red Ants if they tried to evict and demolish their shacks.

The group told News24 that they had occupied the land last month and that no one was going to remove them.

READ: 'If they want war, we will give them war', say Ironside land occupiers as Red Ants arrive

Member of Mayoral Committee for Development and Planning at Midvaal municipality, Mokete Motsamai, said the occupiers had to leave as the land was earmarked for economic development.

He added that after lengthy engagements with community leaders and the police on Wednesday morning, they decided to postpone the evictions until Monday next week.

"Their leaders requested some time to remove their shacks and other belongings before we could evict them. We gave them until Monday next week, to vacate our land. If they are still there on Monday, we are going to engage with the police and finalise a day next week when we will execute our court order.

ALSO READ: Minister pleads for patience and discipline as state resolves land issue

"They have erected 102 shacks so far and half of them are being occupied. We know that part of the eviction is that the Red Ants will also confiscate their belongings. As a caring government, we want to avoid that because some of them are unemployed," said Motsamai.

He continued that it would be disingenuous for residents to clash with Red Ants as the municipality wants to avoid a situation where people lose their lives or are injured.

On April 10, two people died when residents of the Ramaphosa Village informal settlement in Rus-Ter-Vaal, also in Vereeniging, clashed with Red Ants who were evicting them from their informal settlement.

Ironside, Vaal, land invaders, protests
Land invaders in Ironside protests after Red Ants arrived to evict them. (Ntwaagae Seleka)

Read more on:    mokete motsamai  |  gauteng  |  ironside  |  land invasion
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