Loot thy neighbour



May 12, 2016
Loot thy neighbour

Asavela Chekuse was evicted from shack, then rioters stole her possessions.

Grabouw turns into free-for-all on day two of protests

Violent protests continued for a second day in Grabouw, with mense even looting their own neighbours whose homes had been destroyed.

Yesterday schools in the area remained closed for a second day.

Since Tuesday protesters have stoned cops and burnt rubble in the street.

They also shut the N2 and Ou Kaapse Weg leading into Grabouw was closed to motorists.

Mense, mostly youths, looted and torched the Theewaterskloof Traffic Department.

The Theewaterskloof Municipality spokesperson Hugo Geldenhuys says the damage is estimated at R2 million.

The protest is in opposition to the Land Invasion Unit being deployed to destroy about 1 500 shacks in Siyanyanzela informal settlement.

The shacks are built on Department of Public Works land.

But the mense say they will only leave peacefully when government gives them alternative sites to move to.

Since Tuesday, 14 people have been arrested on public violence charges.

Meanwhile, people whose shacks were demolised by authorities say protesters even turned on them.

Nkululeko Sayi Nonkevu, 42, says he lost everything and had to house his kids, aged seven, five and 18 months at a relative’s home.

“When I heard they were going to break our homes down, I started moving my furniture out but I couldn’t move everything before they (protestors) came.

“People stole all our food after they broke our home down.

“We haven’t eaten anything and I don’t have money to buy food because my work on the farm is done,” says the seasonal farmworker.

Asavela Chekuse, 22, a Grade 11 pupil of Umyezo Wama Apile Secondary School, says she moved into a hokkie in March with her two-year-old daughter Alulutho.

She didn’t sleep a wink after her home was destroyed and her possessions looted on Tuesday.

Yesterday neighbours were helping her to rebuild her home while cops kept a watchful eye.

The Department of Public Works is yet to respond to the Daily Voice’s queries.

But spokesman Thami Mchunu told eNCA the shacks were built on land near an essential water source.

Mchunu said the department had applied for an interdict to prevent further shacks from being erected and to evict those living there.

Meanwhile, the DA and ANC have both condemned the protests, blaming each other for the violence.

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs says: “The ANC equally condemns the DA government, in the manner in which they handle evictions, particularly during this cold and wet winter season.

“The reckless way of communicating with our people on evictions, through threats and intimidation is unbecoming and naturally conjures such outrage from communities.”

But Bonginkosi Madikizela, DA Western Cape Deputy Leader, said the ANC was trying to destabilise the province ahead of August’s local government elections.

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