We want peace - protesting Hammanskraal residents

2016-05-24 20:49
Black smoke bellowing over Hammanskraal. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Black smoke bellowing over Hammanskraal. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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UPDATE: Crowd marches to municipal offices in Hammanskraal

2016-05-24 15:45

Residents in Hammanskraal marched to their local municipal offices around midday on Tuesday.WATCH

Pretoria - Protesting Hammanskraal residents say they want peace in their area and to be assured that their shacks will not be demolished again.

"We want to go back to work and for our children to go back to school," community leader Jakes Maleka said on Tuesday.

Maleka said the residents wanted the situation to return to normal, but that is could only happen if government promised not to remove them.

Residents and management of the Temba police station met on Tuesday to find an amicable solution to the violent protests.

Two Red Ants security company employees were killed in the violence on Monday when they came to carry out an eviction order.

He said neither Tshwane officials nor the tribal authority that reportedly applied for the eviction order had been able to speak to them.

"The chief of the place is not answering. He has people from the defence force guarding his home," Maleka claimed.

Maleka said residents wanted guarantees that they could live on the land permanently. He insisted they had been given permission to occupy the land where they had built their shacks.

There were two portions of land, one belonging to the municipality and the other, in Suurman, to the chief.

Maleka said an MEC and a city official had told residents that the land had been approved for occupation. 

In addition, they met the chief on February 18 and he had given approval for them to be on the land and elected a committee to allocate stands.

Maleka said because they had permission to be on the land, they were shocked to see Red Ants arrive. This was what had caused the violence.

He said they would try to restore calm, but be could not make guarantees.

"We don't know if this will escalate or calm down, but as leaders we will do our best to contain it. We understand the people's anger but violence is no way to solve problems," he said.

Police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said five people had been arrested, four for public violence and one for murder.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  protests

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