Angry members of the community of Mvuzo, Mount Frere, in the Eastern Cape, have vowed to "spill blood" if the Mzimvubu municipality demolishes their houses.
Yesterday they marched to the municipal offices to deliver a letter listing their grievances. They say this is not the first incident of its kind.
The residents are also contesting claims by the surveyor-general from Cape Town, who had confirmed to the municipal economic development manager, Simphiwe Thobela, that the land belonged to the municipality.
The residents claim local chief Fana Makaula and headman Zibonele Xaba gave them the land on which to build their houses. The chief had followed correct procedures to secure the land, said one resident.
The protest comes after the community of Mvuzo received several written notices that their houses would soon be demolished because they were built illegally on municipal land.
The municipality took the matter to court, where it is expected to be finalised on March 24.
Nosiviwe Magawudeni, whose house was demolished in 2002, said she had worked so hard to build her four-roomed house again and she will not allow it to be demolished again.
Thobela said the space was not planned as a residential area, but as open public space.
"We will only take action after the court has handed down its judgment," said Thobela