Cope fingers ANC members over demolished shacks

COPE members have again accused the ANC of destroying their shacks near Glebelands hostel in Umlazi, south of Durban.

They alleged that ANC members are responsible and believe it is their political affiliation to Cope that is causing the problrm.

In the latest incident on Monday, Cope members alleged that ANC local councillor Mshiyeni Mzobe was behind the drastic measures.

Previous confrontation with the hostel dwellers resulted in the death of a Cope member and also led to a woman being forced to parade naked.

Cope members had opted to build shacks near the hostel after they were allegedly forced to vacate the hostel in the run-up to the elections in April.

Resident Thembeka Mathe said people were not informed that their houses would be demolished.

"We are left with nothing, no food because the wall fell over it.

"And we have no other option but to sleep next to the road because my shack has been destroyed."

But Mzobe has distanced himself from the demolitions.

He said the eThekwini municipality had a department that deals with illegal land invasion.

"I'ts not my responsibility to destroy illegal houses built on the municipality land.

"The illegal land invasion department deals with that everyday and people should stick to the law," Mzobe said.

He added that it was the first time that he was hearing that the people affected were Cope members.

Cope lawyer Vuyani Dontsa said the shacks that were destroyed did not all belong to Cope members.

"I was asked to go there to assist the people legally because they did not receive any eviction letters.

"But we should correct that it's not only Cope members who are there. I contacted the legal service centre to assist the people," Dontsa said.

"I'ts very sad, women with their children sleep on the side of the road with no roof above their heads."

eThewkini municipality housing support manager Simo Vumase said they have a mandate not to allow the building of shacks in the areas under the municipality.

"Issues of demolishing shacks have nothing to do with politics. I'm not a politician but I work along the lines of the municipality that does not allow the building of informal settlements.

"And we do not target people because of any political affiliation," Vumase said.