Ricochet News

George Municipality Mayor condemns violent Thembalethu protests

Sep 14, 2017
George Municipality Mayor condemns violent Thembalethu protests

George Municipality Executive Mayor, Melvin Naik, on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violent protest and unlawfulness  taking place in Thembalethu following action taken by the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements to remove illegal structures erected on land which belong to the provincial department.

Thembalethu residents began demonstrating against the removal of illegally erected shacks on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, around 300 residents blocked the main entrance to the Thembalethu and the N2 Highway with burning tyres and debris from around 02:00 in the morning.

Commuters were prevented from going to work and traffic had to be diverted through the town.

Several protesters have already been arrested for the violence.

"Ald Naik wishes to again reiterate that George Municipality and Council were not in support of the action initiated by DoHS as discussions had been held as recently as 14th August 2017 with the affected illegal land occupiers in an attempt to peaceably resolve this issue," said Chantel Edwards-Klose, George Local Municipality Communications Manager.

"However the Municipality and Council notes that the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements has the right to  remove illegal squatters from their property.

"The situation remains volatile in Thembalethu at this time and is being monitored by the Public Order Police."