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Philippi: Officials acted on a court order

The City of Cape Town says police were acting on a court order to have illegal squatters removed.

Law enforcement officials keep a watchful eye over vacant land in Philippi East following violent evictions in the area last week. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Law enforcement officials are keeping a watchful eye over vacant land in Philippi East following violent evictions in the area last week.

Dozens of shacks were torn down sparking clashes between informal settlers and authorities on Friday.

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

The City's JP Smith says officials have to ensure that land invaders don't rebuild their homes.

"It's very difficult to prevent people from erecting structures. Our staff will be in the area, but if there are structures being built, we will just have to go in and remove them."

He says the land is privately owned and law enforcement officials were acting on a court order.

Police were severely outnumbered on Friday when hundreds of illegal squatters protested the eviction.

At least one policeman was hurt when locals began pelting officers with various objects, including beer bottles and rocks.

Some of the people not involved in the running battles have been trying to salvage what they can from the gutted remains of what was once their home.

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

Calls for calm by several community members have been ignored.

All pictures: EWN