EFF defends ‘occupy land’ claims at Alex inquiry while Malema doesn’t pitch

Mandisa Mashego maintains that allegations against the party are misguided as the township is technically an illegal informal settlement.

The leader of the EFF, Julius Malema, has sent an apology for his absence at the Alex inquiry at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Malema was expected to elaborate on his claims made to supporters to occupy land during Alexandra protest in April.

This has been seen as inciteful and has resulted in the commission summoning the EFF leader to provide his input on the matter.

Malema, who sent apologies for his absence, requested the EFF’s provincial chairperson Mandisa Mashego, and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to give oral submissions.

SAHRC provincial manager Buang Jones began proceedings by acknowledging Malema’s apology and reiterated that Malema expressed his willingness to be part of the inquiry process. Thursday marked day four of the inquiry sitting.

Mashego started by questioning on what grounds the allegations were made, asking where the residents legally settled in Alexandra historically.

“It’s a well-known fact that Alex dates back to early 1900s and when it was established, it wasn’t classified. Due to the influx of people and also some of the deliberate colonial actions of the apartheid, Alex was one of the places that became populated.

“It is with that history in mind that we know Alex was conceived. Even as far back as 1982, Alex was not classified as a formal settlement, even when though there were black people living there. It was only declared a formal settlement in 1982.”

She moved on to provide testimony on the demolitions in Alexandra where there was allegedly no court order authorising the presence of Johannesburg metro police.

“The demolishing was inhumane and had no legal basis,” Mashego maintained.

The inquiry continues.

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