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Get lost - squatters told

By unknown | Apr 05, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

Thousands of squatters were left homeless when their shacks were demolished yesterday.

Musina Municipality, in Limpopo, said it had a court order to evict the shack dwellers in Mahlalangenkani informal settlement because they had illegally occupied land on which it planned to build 300 RDP houses.

The land was occupied in 2003 by a group called the Greater Musina Unemployment Forum. The group occupied the land because, its members said, municipal officials were selling RDP houses to Zimbabweans who were in South Africa illegally.

The group also accused local councillors of offering RDP houses in return for sex and of charging rent for government houses.

Caroline Mahasela, the mayor of Musina, rejected the allegations.

"We don't care where they'll sleep - they must return to where they came from," Mahasela said.

Johannes Manukha, the father of seven children, said: "I don't know where I will live with my family when the sun sets. I am left without a place to stay."

Elizabeth Dilwayo said the situation reminded her of Operation Murabhatsveina [Operation Clean-up], in Zimbabwe.

"I can't go back to Zimbabwe. It is bad there. I will rather stay on the street and work around," a desperate Dilwayo said.

Superintendent Maggy Mathebula said eight people were arrested for throwing stones at the police and at a bulldozer.

"The evictions and demolitions are a great thing because they make it easy for us to control and arrest those who house illegal migrants," she said

Mahasela said: "All families were given a deadline of April 1 to remove their belongings and to get their own accommodation."

A spokesman for the evicted people, Sinkie Makushu, said he municipality should not have acted until the situation was reviewed by the Pretoria high court, on May 29.


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