Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo believes a land-grabbing syndicate is working in the area.
A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) member was one of five people arrested during a “land invasion” in Lawley, Enerdale, in Johannesburg on Monday.
The arrest follows Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo’s visit to the area after the Johannesburg Metro Police Department and the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit demolished illegal houses and shacks last Thursday.
Makhubo said they had come across an active “land invasion” during the visit and had arrested five people, including a member of SANDF, who is a member of the 21 South African Infantry Battalion.
Makhubo believed a land-grabbing syndicate was working in the area.
He insisted that there had been no “verifiable case” of the eviction of an occupied structure after he spoke to families who alleged otherwise.
“The Department of Social Development in the City has been directed to do further work in tracing those families and in extending social support.
“Should the claims be proved, those responsible for the action will be called to account,” Makhubo said.
News24 previously reported that residents were left homeless last week when the Red Ants tore down brick and shack houses.
Makhubo on Sunday tried to visit the area, but was barred from doing so due to a protest by disgruntled residents.
Residents had also tried to take the City to court over the demolitions, in a bid to order the City to rebuild or compensate residents whose houses were destroyed.
However, their urgent application was dismissed by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Saturday.
“The court (as presided over by Justice Tsoka) duly accepted the evidence provided by the City that it had not evicted any occupiers but instead prevented an on-going land invasion and demolished incomplete and unoccupied structures,” Makhubo previously said.
On Monday, Makhubo said the City had informed the provincial and national government about the increase in “land invasions”, and was now waiting for direction on how to contain them during the lockdown.
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Source: The Citizen