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CT Marikana: Protests couldn't prevent evictions

Violent protests in Philippi East couldn’t prevent law enforcement from demolishing around 500 shacks.

Hundreds of Marikana informal settlers in Phillipi East, Cape Town clashed with police amid ongoing mass evictions in the area on 22 August 2014. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Violent protests could not prevent law enforcement officials in the Western Cape from demolishing around 500 shacks in the Marikana informal settlement.

The structures were built on privately-owned land, prompting the City of Cape Town to intervene.

Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in the Philippi East settlement on Friday.

One man pleaded with police not to arrest him, "Please forget me! Please forget me!"

But officers proceeded to seize him and several others during the violent clashes.

Chaos erupted in the informal settlement when officials arrived to demolish illegally erected shacks.

At one stage police were outnumbered by hundreds of protesters, armed with rocks and other objects, like empty beer bottles.

At least one police officer was hit by a rock in his face.

Land invaders remain defiant in the wake of the evictions.

Many have refused to leave their homes because they say they have nowhere else to go.

A resident, who is one of them, says she will not budge.

"We're going to make fire because we don't know where to go. It's not a joke, it's real. We don't have places to go; we were staying here without doors and looking for wood to make fires."

Meanwhile, the city has defended the evictions, saying law enforcement officials were acting on a court order.

The city's JP Smith says people from various areas were recruited to join the demonstration.

"About 2,000 extra people were brought in to them by train, to swell the ranks of the people opposing the police. But the process continues, it must continue. We have to have the rule of law and the structured occupation of land."

At least half a dozen roads leading into and out of Khayelitsha and Philippi East were shut, amid chaotic evictions on Friday.