Gugulethu a no-go zone as housing feud goes on


Gugulethu a no-go zone as housing feud goes on
Cape Town – Gugulethu backyarders continued erecting structures on vacant land despite city council officials and some community leaders condemning their action which has resulted in the area being a no-go zone.

Calm was restored on Thursday, after battles between backyarders and the police, when roads were barricaded with boulders and burning tyres. A number of government cars were torched and pelted with rocks. The SA Post Office building in NY 112 was petrol bombed and the Department of Social Development suspended crucial operations.

On Thursday the backyarders’ representative, Ludwe Joka, said they were rebuilding their structures and threatened more disruptions if officials demolished them.

“Even if we are being painted as criminals and hooligans we will continue fighting for our rights. We have been waiting for promised houses for a long time.

“In our last meeting we made it clear to mayor Patricia de Lille that after the meeting we would erect our shacks.

“She has betrayed our trust. She told us that together with her office, we would approach the landowners to ask them to sell the property to the city council. Now she is avoiding us,”Joka said.

He said landowners Peter Motale and Mzoli Ngcawuzele told them they were willing to sell the property and shifted the blame to the city council.

The violence flared up after the municipal Anti-Land Invasion Unit demolished shacks last weekend and on Monday.

A 31-year-old man arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property linked to the protests, was granted R500 bail on Thursday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Philippi backyarders picketed outside the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

The residents calling themselves the Landless Group brought an application to have vacant land released by the city council.

They said their shacks were demolished more than four times and called for the two landowners to drop all charges against them.

De Lille was expected to meet with them Thursday afternoon.

Cape Times


Leave A Reply