The shacks had been built on government-owned land used for one of two RDP housing projects in the area, MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said in a statement.
Those living on the land had paid R70 to individuals who had allegedly falsely promised them RDP houses.
“This was a scam and unscrupulous and greedy syndicates took advantage of people by stealing and selling government land to them illegally,” Mekgwe said.
When the demolition crew arrived residents began pulling down their shacks and torched the home of a man who allegedly sold them the land illegally.
“In venting out their anger, the residents also burnt down the house of the local ward councillor, Silas Letsema,” the MEC said.
Mekgwe called on people to first ask the human settlements department if they were approached to buy land, to prevent being exploited by land-selling syndicates.