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'ANC shouldn’t protect illegal homeowners'

Gauteng ANC chair Paul Mashatile says the ruling party should not be seen supporting criminals.

Gauteng ANC Chairman Paul Mashatile. Picture: ANC

ALBERTON - Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile said while the ruling party must always defend its people, it should not be seen to be supporting those who break the law.

Mashatile was referring to the illegal sale of government land, which has led to controversial house demolitions in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.

More than 80 structures built on government-owned land, sold through an alleged syndicate, were destroyed last month.

The demolitions were halted following an agreement to reach an out-of-court settlement between government and the South African Human Rights Commission, which is representing affected residents.

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has said quality-built homes will not be torn down.

Speaking at an ANC special provincial general conference in Alberton, Mashatile praised the decision to find an alternative solution to resolve the matter.

"The ANC is a caring government, and must continue to be sympathetic to the problems of our people. That doesn't mean we must allow illegal invasion of land or illegal activity."