Strong police presence after Khayelitsha land grabs

Authorities on Wednesday tore down shacks which had been erected on private land.

A policeman fires rubber bullets at protesters on the N2 inbound outside Khayelitsha in Cape Town after land grabbers and police clashed during violent evictions. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Chaos erupted in Khayelitsha on Wednesday as backyard dwellers were evicted from land they had invaded in the area.

Authorities moved in to tear down shacks which had been erected on land owned by Denel.

The violence escalated, with rubber bullets and stun grenades used to disperse angry squatters, some of whom stoned and set fire to vehicles.

A municipal vehicle was set alight in the TR section near Japhta Masemola Road on Wednesday night.

Community members said they were protesting to force the City of Cape Town's hand to allow them back on the property.

WATCH: _ Violence escalates at Khayelitsha evictions_

Resident Sibusiso Zonke said street lights and other city property had also been damaged.

"The residents are going to do these demonstrations up until demands are met."

They have also vowed to return to the property on Thursday despite an eviction order.

But the city's JP Smith said officers will be waiting.

"Our guys will be on standby to make sure those roads are not affected and that commuter traffic is not affected."

Police will maintain a heavy presence for any disruption in the area.

WATCH: Mass land invasion in Khayelitsha

The City of Cape Town has opened a criminal case against two senior Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) officials who led the land grab.

The EFF on Tuesday warned city officials that illegal land occupations would continue as it "formed part of the party's mandate."

The City condemned the land grabs and warned private land owners to be vigilant. It also encouraged people to report incidences of illegal land occupation to relevant authorities.