Cape City – The Metropolis of Cape City’s legislation enforcement officers have as soon as once more drawn sharp criticism from human rights activists and weak residents after they opened hearth with rubber bullets at land occupiers in Vrygrond, wounding at the very least 9 folks, with some being hit within the face.
Violent scenes broke out within the Xakabantu casual settlement on the weekend, which has prompted the South African Human Rights Fee (SAHRC) to write down to the Metropolis’s security directorate, condemning their alleged brutality.
The letter follows a collection of allegedly heavy-handed actions by legislation enforcement members, together with different incidents of violence in Vrygrond a couple of weeks in the past; the videoed manhandling in November final 12 months of wheelchair-bound Zwelenkosi Ngidi, who had been enquiring concerning the remedy of Khayelitsha demonstrators on the Civic Centre; and officers referred for disciplinary motion in July after they have been caught on digital camera humiliating Khayelitsha resident Bulelani Qolani by forcefully dragging him bare out of his one-room shack.
Xakabantu neighborhood activist and resident Bathande Ndabezimbi stated folks have been of their shacks on Sunday when legislation enforcement swooped in to demolish their constructions.
He stated round 1000 folks reside in 700 shacks on the land close to Muizenberg, which they’ve occupied for about 4 years.
The Metropolis has stated the land varieties a part of the False Bay Nature Reserve, previously often known as the False Bay Ecology Park, however a dependable senior human rights supply working with the neighborhood stated though the land is assessed as a part of the reserve, it’s not being maintained as such.’’
Ndabezimbi stated folks have nowhere to go, and have appealed for assist a number of instances in making an attempt to get the land reclassified for them to reside on.
“They at all times do that; demolish our shacks. They depart all our items damaged and do what they need. Our cries are for nothing,” he stated.
Government director for security and safety Richard Bosman stated they acquired the SAHRC letter and would have interaction with the fee.
“Regulation enforcement discharged rubber rounds to guard themselves, housing workers and members of a non-public firm who have been being stoned. Two folks have been arrested for public violence and detained at Muizenberg police station,” Bosman stated.
Requested for touch upon the alleged brutality of legislation enforcement’s actions, he referred the Cape Occasions to the earlier remark.
The human rights supply stated makes an attempt have been beforehand made to categorise the land for the folks to reside on, however have thus far been unsuccessful.
“What’s complicated is that the Metropolis has supplied bathrooms for residents residing in Xakabantu that are emptied as soon as per week. This confers legitimacy regarding present residency.
“Electrical energy and water has not but been supplied completely though there are a couple of damaged faucets. Residents stroll to gather water from close by properties day by day.”
Secretary of the Vrygrond Group Growth Belief and Discussion board Nonkosi Fodo stated one thing wanted to be executed urgently.
“The neighborhood has lived right here for years and their pleas are being undermined,” she stated.
Mayco member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi, stated the Metropolis and legislation enforcement authorities act to uphold the legislation and the “Metropolis will proceed to behave as greatest it might probably and inside the authorized parameters to stop the illegal occupation of land”.
“The Metropolis has had ongoing consultations with the group concerning the ongoing makes an attempt to unlawfully occupy this land.
“Engagement with neighborhood members will proceed. The Courtroom granted a closing order to the Metropolis to stop the illegal occupation of the land in query. The Metropolis will proceed to take away unoccupied and illegal constructions to stop illegal occupation of land,” he stated.