“Refusing to pay for rent, electricity, water or levies – building hijackers take over bonded townhouses in a Gauteng estate, turning suburban bliss into a living hell,” was how Carte Blanche described the episode.
There was even the suggestion that a corrupt policeman was involved and taking bribes.
This is shocking stuff. Identify that SAPS crook who is on the take and prosecute him.
— Patience Voller (@Iampee_vee) July 15, 2018
Wow absolutely shocking!!!!These building highjackers must be dealt with
— NGabrielse (@NGabrielse) July 15, 2018
What struck many as strange, though, was a group of EFF members in their red T-shirts and berets taking the side of landlords and legal tenants in the complex and even getting into a physical confrontation with some of the building hijackers.
Paying tenants and owners said they felt terrorised in their own homes.
The EFF maintained they were against such hijackings and wanted law and order restored.
However, the EFF is often synonymous with illegal land grabs and occupations, and EFF leader Julius Malema has courted much controversy and is even facing prosecution for calling on his followers to occupy any vacant land they like.
The party has said, though, that it views urban properties with buildings on them as different, and these should not be expropriated without compensation.
The EFF has said in its policy documents and even in a “Frequently Asked Questions” article that it does not want to expropriate people’s homes (their houses and flats); it just wants to expropriate all land in South Africa.
Their public statements and policies have nevertheless led to some confusion and panic about EFF policies among some in the general public.