Trespassing caused evictions in Marlboro

The JMPD says evictions in Marlboro were done early so the place could be cleared sooner.

Alex residents walk past smouldering embers after some people tried to stop their eviction in Marlboro, Johannesburg, on 27 June 2012. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Residents that were evicted in Marlboro Gardens on Wednesday were trespassing on municipal land, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said.

Officers began the eviction on Wednesday morning after they gave shack owners three days notice.

Violence broke out and a shootout ensued, followed by bricks being thrown.

A police car was set on fire and two people rushed to hospital.

Residents questioned why they were kicked out into the street on a cold winter morning as they had nowhere to go.

But JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said they were just enforcing bylaws.

He said there was nothing untoward about the early start to the evictions.

"We start early when there are many shacks to be removed so we can be done by midday."

Police are investigating the shootout.

The eviction was expected to resume later on Wednesday.