Noxolo Sibiya
2 minute read
11 Mar 2018
9:02 am

WATCH: Hundreds of rubber bullets fired as Pretoria land grabbers clash with cops

Noxolo Sibiya

The squatters occupied the area and erected shacks in the early hours of Saturday.

Police fired hundreds of rubber bullets to disperse a group if illegal squatters in East Lynne, Pretoria, on Saturday afternoon.

The Rekord Moot reports that the clashes are said to have started early in the day when a group of settlers illegally set up camp along Jan Coetzee and Lanham roads.

Ward councillor Freddie Pienaar said the people were “land grabbers who have been planning since January to occupy land”.

The group is said to have occupied the area in the early hours of the morning and had erected about 15 shacks by 6am.

“I started receiving information from the community regarding the planned invasion of that area in January,” he said.

“That’s when we started mobilising and informing the land invasion authorities of what was going to happen,” Pienaar said.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said 707 rounds of rubber bullets were fired by police in an attempt to disperse the “violent crowd”.

After several attempts to try to engage the group, Mahamba said a service provider was called in to demolish the incomplete shacks.

“While the service provider workers were demolishing the shacks, the people started attacking them with stones,” he said.

Mahamba said about 180 shacks were demolished.

The TMPD warned people to stop occupying land illegally.

“Nobody will illegally occupy land in the city of Tshwane, we are going to make sure of it.

“We will use the law against anybody who erects a shack illegally,” Mahamba said.

He urged residents to wait for the city’s pronouncement on land occupation.

Pienaar told the Rekord that a resident of the area was apparently caught up in the clashes and sustained an injury after being shot with a rubber bullet.

“A resident called me to say her son was shot with a rubber bullet. I immediately called an ambulance.”

Pienaar said the squatters had dispersed, but he had reason to believe that they would return.

“Some of them may have left but the information I received is that they will be coming back tonight,” said Pienaar.

Residents who had visited various voting stations in the area to update their details were evacuated and some could not register during the first day of the registration weekend.