3 June 2014

South Africa: Petrol Bombs Fly in Cape Town Evictions

A family's home is demolished in the forced eviction from Strand on 3 June 2014. ( Resource: Nomzamo Shack Demolition

Petrol bombs were thrown during evictions in Lwandle, outside Cape Town, on Tuesday, Western Cape police said.

"Petrol bombs are being thrown, tyres are being lit and the situation is tense at this stage, but police are maintaining law and order. The eviction operation is unfolding at this time," Lt-Col Andre Traut said.

"We are policing the eviction notice being carried out by the sheriff of the court."

No arrests had been made.

On Monday seven people were arrested for public violence.

"Three petrol bombs were confiscated. The suspects will make a court appearance once they have been charged. They are currently in police custody as they go through processing," Traut said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the ANC claimed the eviction was punishment for people not voting for the DA in the May 7 general elections.

"The African National Congress condemns the eviction... by the Cape Town metro without being given alternative accommodation as required by the law," spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

"This is tantamount to undermining democracy and the freedom of choice by the DA metro."

The violence began on Monday following the enforcement of an eviction order. It was granted to the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), owner of the land, by the Western Cape High Court earlier this year.

City of Cape Town human settlements MMC Siyabulela Mamkeli said in a statement on Monday: "The interdict authorised the sheriff and the South African Police Service to give effect to the provisions of this order."

This was against any person or structure erected that breached the order after it was served.

"The sheriff of the court has been assisted by its contractors to remove the structures following an illegal land invasion on this Sanral-owned land," said Mamkeli.

Kodwa said the ANC had asked the national transport and human settlements departments to intervene.

Mamkeli said police supported the sheriff of the court's actions.

"City law enforcement agencies were present, on the specific request from the sheriff of the court and the SAPS. City law enforcement has no role in the removal of structures."

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