City of CT monitoring land invaders in Philippi

The City’s JP Smith says law enforcement demolished three structures yesterday.

FILE: The City’s JP Smith says law enforcement demolished three structures yesterday. Picture: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Law enforcement officials are keeping an eye on a piece of land in Philippi.

Earlier this week a group of more than 100 people, claiming to be backyarders from Philippi, Nyanga and Khayelitsha began marking out plots with the view to building more shacks on the land.

This comes two weeks after violent evictions in Khayelitsha following an illegal occupation of land owned by Denel.

An attempt by authorities to prevent the invasion failed.

The City's JP Smith said law enforcement demolished three standing structures yesterday.

He said they also arrested one invader for possession of drugs.

The land is currently unoccupied and clear of structures.

"There are staff who will continue to monitor the area to make sure that the structures aren't rebuild again."

But the threat of invasion has not gone away with occupants saying they will risk everything because they are desperate and have nowhere else to go.

Community leader Joseph Makeleni said they're not concerned by the police's presence.

"When someone is desperate, we don't even care or mind whatsoever is going to happen in future because one is looking for a place to stay."

Makeleni said they would return to the property today.

On Wednesday, a Western Cape High Court judge described an application by the group of Khayelitsha land invaders, who want to return to property they illegally occupied, as unusual.

Judge Siraj Desai said chances of a successful application are very slim, but insisted it was a request that needed to be heard by a court because it touched on what it described as the root of housing problems in the country.