Land occupation: 6 arrested following violent clashes with police in Johannesburg

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The scene as Rietvallei residents clashed with the police over land invasion.
The scene as Rietvallei residents clashed with the police over land invasion.
Ntwaagae Seleka, News24
  • Violent clashes between the police and residents of Rietvallei in Johannesburg have continued.
  • Some residents attempted to invade a piece of land in the area illegally.
  • The land is earmarked for a housing project. 

Clashes between police and residents of Rietvalllei in Kagiso, Johannesburg, are far from over.

A large crowd, consisting of mostly teenagers, insulted and pelted police with stones, empty bottles and other objects.

Residents are protesting over a piece of land that is earmarked for a housing project.

They attempted to occupy the land.

Police reacted and dispersed them throughout Monday.

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They then swore and hurled objects forcing the police to retaliate with teargas canisters, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

By 16:00, clashes were continuing with some minors using corrugated iron sheets as shields.

Some fired marbles and stones using catapults at the police.

Community leader Thembani Sibanyoni said residents were aggrieved and wanted to occupy the land.

"We have tried on several occasions to engage [the] Mogale City Municipality over the land. The community needs the land for habitation and business premises. Residents approached the municipality over the land.

"There were attempts earlier by residents to occupy the land and the police prevented us from doing so. We understand that the situation is tense, and we are trying to calm the residents. Our vision and mission is clear, we want this land, and we will eventually occupy it," added Sibanyoni.

Occupy

Residents have given Mogale City a 24-hour deadline to address their demands, or they will forcefully occupy the land.

Human Settlements MMC Bongani Nkosi said a certain bank owned the land, adding the municipality was negotiating with it to build 10 000 RDP and bonded houses.

"As the municipality, we can't allow people to occupy the land that is earmarked for a housing project. There is an agreement between the municipality and the bank to implement the project. Some of those who are protesting are going to benefit from the project," added Nkosi.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said they arrested six people for public violence and would continue to monitor the situation

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