The municipality has obtained an urgent interdict from the North Gauteng High Court against the EFF and Tembisa community leaders to stop them from unlawfully occupying and inciting others to occupy municipal and private land earmarked for low-cost housing.
Ekurhuleni’s legal services acting head Selven Frank said in court papers there was an orchestrated attempt by EFF members to ncite people who were clearly disgruntled and desperate to invade land.
The EFF and its leaders have also openly stated their resolve to begin strategic occupation of land throughout the country. Their unlawful conduct derailed the progress made by Ekurhuleni and other municipalities with the provision of housing, he said.
In some instances houses had already been constructed on the properties and were awaiting the installation of services, while in other cases the land had been proclaimed and approved as a township and was going to be developed by Gauteng’s Human Settlement Department.
Frank said attempts to invade land have escalated and the municipality could not rely on the limited protection of the local metro police, who could not carry out their everyday duties if they also had to thwart illegal land invasions and the SAPS were reluctant to assist without a court order.
“The land grabs present a real and imminent danger of substantial injury to persons and property. … Apart from the unlawful occupation of land, it leads to complete lawlessness, anarchy and has devastating consequences for proper town planning, health and maintenance of law and order,” he said.
The EFF and local leaders have been involved in the unlawful invasion of properties since 2014 and have publicly threatened to continue with land invasions in the area.
Community leader Jemmy Kwenaite was part of a WhatsApp group that encouraged land grabs and had stated they would “burn and destroy everything that belongs to government”.