Cops on land grab alert

Squatters peg shack plots on vacant land.

Western Cape police are on alert for further land invasions and unrest at vacant properties at several residential areas in Cape Town.

This comes after squatters tried to set up shacks on vacant land in Philippi along Jakes Gerwel Drive, the R300 and areas adjacent to Siqalo informal settlement since Wednesday February 14.

City of Cape Town executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said law enforcement officers were helping the SAPS to prevent land invasions.

“At least three areas were affected,” he said.

No infrastructure damage has been reported and no injuries and no arrests have been made.

Sinathi Joni, provincial police spokesman, said they were aware of the land invasion unrest incidents at several residential areas in the city.

Rashmiya Lucas, chairperson of the Collville Residents’ Association (Colorado and London Village), said they had been proactive in reporting any suspicious behaviour and the setting up of shacks.

“Residents living close by cannot be held hostage by unrest and sit in traffic trying to get to work,” she said.

She said that in December last year they had met with Siqalo residents, where both parties had put their grievances on the table and discussed solutions.

Ms Lucas said a sign titled “Ramaphosa Square” had beenremoved by the City’s land invasion unit on Sunday February 18.

The Hawks are investigating the arrest of four Pagad members, one of them a Mitchell’s Plain resident, in Rawsonville on Tuesday February 13.

According to Worcester police, the men, aged between 21 and 58, fired several shots at a residence in Avian Park, at about 10pm on Tuesday February 13.

The homeowner retaliated by firing warning shots and the men fled in a white Toyota double cab.

The police arrived promptly at the scene and a chase ensued.

They managed to arrest the men and confiscated a .38 Special revolver and several rounds of ammunition; four balaclavas; and a white Toyota double cab.

However, according to the Daily Voice, the men were released on Friday February 16 after being questioned, locked up for three nights but never charged.