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Protesters in Masiphumelele hand over memorandum of grievances

Demonstrators marched to local municipal offices today, demanding housing.

FILE. Two people died and at least 4,000 were left displaced following Masiphumelele shack fire on 29 November 2015. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A group of protesters from Masiphumelele have handed over a memorandum of grievances and demands to municipal officials.

Demonstrators marched to local municipal offices today, demanding housing.

#Masiphumelele A small group of residents have congregated in Khoza square. LI pic.twitter.com/1dpCSeYL4l

The township was devastated by a fire earlier this month, which killed two people and left thousands more destitute.

Authorities swooped in on the New Rest informal Settlement in Masiphumelele earlier this week and demolished dozens of zinc and wooden structures built on a privately owned piece of land.

#Masiphumelele These shacks, illegally erected on privately owned land, were demolished by authorities this week. LI pic.twitter.com/0RnmbzcDNV

Community leader Tshepo Moletsane says, "Part of the memorandum talks about urgent intervention that must be done by the ward counsellor because the piece of land we're talking about is owned by SANParks. We also want the City of Cape Town to ensure it's going to provide basics like water, electricity and sanitation."

At the same time, a Masiphumelele community leader says scores of families have been homeless for the past two and a half days after having their illegally erected shacks torn down.

Community leader Mlungiseleli Bawuti is one of about 250 people who lost their homes in the fire.

He says the affected families lost most of their belongings in the fire and the few items they were able to salvage were destroyed during the demolition.

"When the law enforcement and metro police came, they didn't even give us a court order or a chance to speak to them and take our stuff, and they just broke [down] the houses. Everything that was inside is damaged and there's nothing there."

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