Monday, May 16, 2011

Mitchells Plain land invasion turns violent (WARNING Explicit language and visuals)

An eyewitness account by Brenda Leonard, Bush Radio Managing Director
16 May 2011

The Mitchell's Plain Backyard Dwellers invaded two pieces of land on Saturday, 14th May at 13h00. Approximately 2000 people invaded the first piece of land which is next to the Kapteinsklip Station. Over 4000 people invaded the second piece of land next to the Swartklip Indoor Sports Field. The City Police gave the invaders a warning and asked them to dismantle their structures and disperse, but people refused. When night fell, the City Police and SAPS withdrew from both sites. On Sunday, at about 10h15, the City Police and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit of the City of Cape Town moved in to demolish the structures at Kapteinsklip station, and they removed the materials that people used to build their structures. Four people were arrested.

At approximately 14h00 on Sunday afternoon, the City Police, SAPS and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit of the City of Cape Town moved in to demolish the structures at Swartklip Sports Field. People formed a barricade to prevent them from entering the site, and the City Police and SAPS then used teargas to disperse people. When this did not work, they used a water cannon to disperse the crowd and to break down the shelters. When people resisted the breaking down of the shelters, they arrested the people. The situation escalated and the SAPS and City Police used rubber bullets to disperse people. The invaders and surrounding communities retaliated and threw stones at the City Police and SAPS, causing them to withdraw from the site. The residents then burned tyres in the road trying to prevent the City Police and SAPS from coming back, and it resulted in thirteen people being arrested at Swartklip Sports Field.

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