Police in the hot seat at Nomzamo Inquiry

Nomzamo residents claim police used live ammunition and brutal force during the evictions.

FILE: The Lwandle Inquiry. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Police will be in the hot seat at the Lwandle Inquiry today after residents testified that some officers manhandled evictees and there has been an allegation that live ammunition was fired.

Those are just some of the allegations police will have to answer to today.

The inquiry was set up by the National Human Settlements Department to probe the forced removal of hundreds of informal settlers from privately-owned land near strand in June.

The South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral), the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have all deflected the blame for the violent evictions of the Nomzamo community.

Hundreds of thousands of families were left destitute when their shacks were torn down by police and law enforcement officials on 2-3 June.

They were forcibly removed from a piece of privately-owned land in the area.

Sanral maintained it was granted a High Court order for the forced removals earlier this year.

It says the illegal squatters were timeously informed they needed to vacate the land meant for a project along the N2 highway.

Last week, residents said the land owner should have been more clear that invasion of the property was illegal.

Residents told the Inquiry they knew they were occupying private land when they first settled there in December. They say the first evictions in February came as no surprise but people returned when they saw five shacks remained on the property.