Kalkfontein land invaders verdict ‘too lenient’

The five men appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrates Court yesterday but were released with a warning.

FILE: Land invaders were arrested and charged with public violence and destruction of private property when they invaded a housing estate in Kalkfontein near Kuilsriver in Cape Town on 12 April 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town believes the court has been too lenient by releasing Kalkfontein land invaders who allegedly threw stones at police vehicles.

The five accused appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrates Court yesterday on charges of public violence.

They were arrested during eviction protests during which a church was set alight and three RDP houses were torched earlier this month.

There were sighs of relief and loud cheers inside Courtroom 2 when the magistrate announced he was releasing the five land invaders on a warning.

Supporter Wiseman Bene believes the arrests were unfair.

"How can someone live in a house with 15 other people but there is space open? We can't allow that, that land belongs to the people."

But the city's JP Smith says a warning is inadequate.

"It could have easily cost a life or have maimed someone permanently so I don't believe the courts are taking these matters seriously enough."

The case has been postponed until 9 June for further investigation.