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City defends Marikana evictions

Despite defiant Philippi residents refusing to budge the City of CT has defended evictions in Marikana.

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 - The City of Cape Town has defended evictions on privately-owned land in Philippi East.

Around 500 homes in the Marikana informal settlement were targeted during a City-led blitz to evict land invaders on Friday.

The city says law enforcement officials were acting on a court order.

The evictions sparked protests and running battles between police and residents.

The city's JP Smith says people from various areas were called 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."

Meanwhile 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."

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

Police then agreed to reduce the number of officers deployed to the site of evictions in the informal settlement.

At one point officers were severely outnumbered by thousands of enraged community members, some of whom pelted law enforcement officials with stones.

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