She said that a large contingent of law enforcement and the Anti-Land invasion Unit arrived around midday and started to demolish the homes. She said the officers became aggressive when people started to film them.
Wayne Dyason, spokesperson for the city’s law enforcement said that “rounds were discharged to disperse the crowd who had started acting in a violent manner”.
Xakabantu is on the outskirts of Vrygrond, close to the Coastal Park Landfill Site. It has seen conflict between the city and local residents for many years, according to Nonkosi Fodo, secretary of the Vrygrond Development Forum.
Fodo said there are about 150 structures in Xakabantu, most of them built by people leaving cramped rooms in Vrygrond. She said that the city demolishes shacks on a regular basis in the area, but the last demolition was in April.
“All we want from the city is for them to come to the table and engage with the community and come to an agreement,” said Fodo.
Malusi Booi, Mayco member for human settlements, said: “Xakabantu is on City of Cape Town-owned land and is not eligible for housing as it forms part of the False Bay Nature Reserve”.
He said that the city has “had ongoing consultations with the group about ongoing attempts to illegally invade this land” and the city had been granted a court order to prevent the occupation.
Booi said that the “city will continue to remove unoccupied and illegal structures to prevent the occupation of land”.
This article was originally published by GroundUp