Honingklip residents call for minister's intervention

Residents claim the mayor promised to hand over a plot of land to them in 2009.

Residents of Honingklip have called on the Minister of Rural Development Gugile Nkwinti to intervene in an impasse between the community and the Mogale City mayor. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of Honingklip have called on the Minister of Rural Development Gugile Nkwinti to intervene in an impasse between the community and the Mogale City mayor over a plot of land in the municipality.

Scores of residents took to the streets on Saturday morning demanding the Mogale City mayor donate plot 11 in Honingklip to them so they can build their own houses.

Resident claim the mayor promised to hand over the plot to them in 2009.

Four people have been injured during clashes with the red-ants this morning.

Residents live in squalor and have complained about their living conditions.

One man says Nkwinti should intervene because their local government has failed.

"I think if the minister can come and address us maybe we'll be fine because currently we're living under bad conditions. Our local government has failed us a lot and we can't blame police all the time.

"If the red-ants come, who deployed them? It's the mayor. So if it's not the mayor then it's the residents, which are the whites."

Honingklip residents have also accused their employers who own farms in the area of racism with one community leader saying they want to move out of the farmlands and be independent.

"We're 20 years into democracy and we don't have land. These whites are full of racism so we just want to be on our own. Depend on ourselves."

He says the protest was meant to get the mayor's attention.

"What surprises us today is that we're seeing red-ants. They came to beat our people on the road when they're protesting. They injured four people, another one is in hospital. They shot one of our leaders with live ammunition."

Police have opened a case of public violence but no one has been arrested.

The protest is the latest in a series of violent protests in the country in recent weeks.