- There was renewed tension at an illegally occupied piece of private land outside Polokwane, which resulted in three people being shot and injured.
- The tension is understood to have emanated from WhatsApp messages ostensibly urging residents to prepare for a new fight against the owners of the land.
- Eleven people have been arrested on fraud charges to date for allegedly selling residential sites on the land.
Three people have been shot and injured following renewed tension at an illegally occupied piece of privately-owned land outside Polokwane, Limpopo.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said a group of unknown people went to the occupied site late Monday afternoon to "discuss issues regarding the land".
"The land is guarded by a private security company and when they (the group) arrived, the security officers allegedly denied them access and the argument ensued. In the process, several shots were fired between the two groups and three people were injured."
The three people were rushed to hospital.
Ngoepe said no one had yet been arrested and they were investigating.
Tension in the area – known officially as Portion 41 of Kalfontein Farm - dates back to 2015 when members of the Mojapelo clan, under the auspices of the Morena Seaka Home Owners Association, allegedly began illegally selling residential sites to unsuspecting members of the public.
The Mojapelo clan lodged a land claim in 1996, but it has not yet been finalised because of infighting among various clans.
So far, 11 people have been arrested for fraud, including the leader of the association, Ngwanamaredi Franscina Sebati, who is the senior member of the Mojapelo clan.
The 11 are expected back in court on 9 March.
The land belongs to Blue Dot Properties, which has since obtained two court orders to declare the occupation as illegal and that residents vacate the area.
News24 understands the renewed tension emanated from WhatsApp messages purporting to be from new representatives of the residents. The messages apparently urged residents to prepare for a new fight against the owners of the land.
The messages also allegedly reminded those with outstanding balances on their residential sites to pay immediately - and that no meeting contrary to fighting the rightful landowners will be allowed.
One message read in part: "The new management is coming to sort this type of things that we regard as non-existent and we see it as a disturbance to our community."
The names of the new representatives and a number to dial were provided in the messages, but News24 could not reach them.
Blue Dot spokesperson Ike Kekana said the shootings happened after an armed group failed to forcefully take over the land.