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'We're coming like a thunderstorm' Bhanga warns those occupying public land

By Afikile Lugunya - Apr 17, 2018
'We're coming like a thunderstorm' Bhanga warns those occupying public land

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is set to continue with evicting residents that are illegally occupying municipal land. That is the word from Nelson Mandela Bay MMC for Human Settlement, Nqaba Bhanga.

Last week Thursday, at one eviction operation in Kwadwesi things got so tense between municipal officials, the police, Metro Police and residents culminating in one father allegedly throwing his one-year-old daughter off the roof of a shack.

On Monday, he appeared before the New Brighton Magistrate's Court where his initial charge of attempted murder was provisionally changed to child abuse andd the case was postponed. 

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay region on Friday blamed the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition for the incident.

“The DA-led coalition undermines the Council decision that was taken on the 25 January 2018, which stipulates that all evictions must go through Council and a multi-party task team be established when there is illegal occupation of land,” said Regional Secretary of the ANC, NMB region, Themba Xathula.

He added: “Their arrogance led to our people taking drastic action of throwing babies from rooftops. Indeed, as per council resolution, the DA never attempted to adhere to what the resolution stipulates.”

However, Bhanga said that they are responding to the call made by President, Cyril Ramaphosa, that local authorities must ensure that there are no illegal land grabs while the debate on land expropriation without compensation heats up.

He said that they will continue with operations to demolish shacks that have been illegally built on public land in the Wells Estate, Motherwell, Ekamvelihle, Ramaphosa areas of the Bay among other townships.

“It is illegal for anybody to occupy Municipal land and it is for this reason that we support what President Cyril Ramaphosa said when he described that we must remove all those people, who want to occupy land illegally,” Bhanga described.

“We are planning underground, we don’t want them to know, and when we will come; we want to come like a thunderstorm.

“If what President Cyril Ramaphosa said when he said we must use everything we have to remove land grabs then he is the one, who is using apartheid-style because we are responding to his call that we must remove people, who are invading land.

“We are using the South African law, Courts and the Constitution and this is done by the Sheriff [of Court], therefore these are not illegal operations."