Calm returns to Hammanskraal despite uncertainties over land evictions
The township of Hammanskraal is calm following days of protests, but uncertainties still remain over the possibility of further evictions.
The Tshwane Metro Police Department on Wednesday indicated there were operational plans in place to ensure the court order for evictions is enforced.
“There is an operational plan that we can’t disclose but those people can’t be there, it’s not their land. You can’t build a shack on someone else’s land,” spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said.
“The fact remains that the people have occupied the land illegally. We might continue with evictions but we can’t disclose the operational plan,” he added.
Violence broke out in the township on Monday when employees of the Red Ants security company, SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police arrived to flatten their shacks and evict them.
Two employees from a security company were killed and six injured in an altercation with the residents. Five people were arrested, one of them for murder.
Residents on Tuesday held a meeting with the leadership of the Temba police station and an agreement was allegedly reached to halt evictions in the area until a meeting could be convened with all the necessary stakeholders.
Community leader Jakes Maleka said proposals were made which they took to the residents.
Police said they could only continue the evictions once the legal issues had been sorted out.
During the meeting, one resident took to the podium and said they wanted a permanent solution.
“They will get another court order and remove us. We want them to give us an assurance in writing that they will not move us,” said the resident to loud applause and cheers.
Mahamba has however indicated that they were not informed of such a decision.
“I’m not of such an agreement. That is something we can establish during the course of the day but at this stage I’m not aware of it,” said Mahamba.
Roads in the township are still full of debris that was used to block them during protests. People could be seen standing on the side of the roads waiting for transport to get to their different destinations on Wednesday morning as life appears to return to normal. – News24