Midvaal gives land invaders a week to vacate council land

Staff Writer | Apr 25, 2019
Land invaders in Vereeniging who refused to move from the Ironside site they occupied last month, despite a court order that they must do so, have been given until Monday to leave.

The DA-run municipality of Midvaal says the land invaded last month is earmarked for development, but the invaders resisted, warning the Red Ants – private security officers sent in this week to evict them – that if they wanted war, they would get war. 

However, after lengthy negotiations between community leaders and the police on Wednesday morning, it was decided to postpone evictions until next week, should the land invaders still refuse to move.

Just over 100 shacks have reportedly been erected on the site so far, though not all are occupied.

When the Red Ants arrived on Wednesday morning to evict the invaders and demolish the shacks they had constructed, the occupiers set fire to tyres, and blockaded roads. 

News24 reported that the invaders were armed with an assortment of weapons, including spades, spears, pangas, knobkieries and machetes.

A member of the mayoral committee for Midvaal said the municipality wished to avoid a situation in which people lost their lives or were injured. 

On 10 April, two people were killed in a clash between land occupiers and the Red Ants in a nearby shack settlement. 

The IRR has warned that the atmosphere created by the governing ANC’s drive to implement expropriation without compensation and thus degrade property rights can easily be exploited to justify land grabs, which further devalue the principle of property rights, and needlessly heighten tensions in society.

The IRR has also pointed out that property rights are the essential anchor of other freedoms, and of human rights, in all free societies. 

 

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