Teargas, stones fly as red ants demolish illegal structures in Wolseley

Cape Town – A standoff between police and a group of people took place on Tuesday morning as officials demolished illegal, unoccupied structures in Pine Valley, Wolseley.

Acting municipal manager for Witzenberg, Monwabisi Mpeluza, said they acquired a court order to break down illegal structures that were not in use.

This number was initially set at 48 structures, but was reduced to 29 after the officials noticed during overnight monitoring that some residences were occupied.

“There is no eviction currently taking place. We may not and cannot evict people at this point in time.”

People apparently built the structures around two months ago. They were located on a combination of municipal, state-owned and privately owned land in the Breede River Valley, about an hour and a half drive from Cape Town.

A team from the Red Ant Security Relocation & Eviction Services was called in to enforce the order, with assistance from police.

Western Cape police said that a crowd of locals started throwing stones while the red ants were demolishing the structures on Tuesday morning.

Captain FC van Wyk said the public order police dispersed tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets “which restored the order”.

No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.

Mpeluza said they had tried to sensitise people to what was happening by putting up notices.

“When people are targeting land, they don’t know [land] boundaries.”

The municipality would monitor the situation. DM


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