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Survivors speak out after deadly Hammanskraal evictions

The security officials were met with resistance by angry locals, resulting in the death of two people.

A bus was set alight and roads blocked in Hammanskraal following service delivery protests in the area. There were also reports of overnight violent demonstrations on 23 May 2016. Picture: Arrive Alive.

JOHANNESBURG - Survivors of an attack on security officials in Hammanskraal have told Eyewitness News how they feared for their lives as they were trapped in a maze of shacks and chased by angry residents.

The Soshanguve locals were among hundreds hired by a private security company to evict and demolish the shacks of thousands of Hammanskraal residents.

The group was met with resistance by angry locals, resulting in the death of two people.

WATCH: Hammanksraal residents: Councilor gave us this land

One survivor, who goes by the name of Gaddaffi, says he didn't know what work he was going to do when he was picked up for a piece job last Monday.

"They took us to Hammanskraal to work. We were thinking we are going to work nicely, but at the end it didn't go well."

His friend, known as Mavuso, who was also working that day, has described his confusion when the chaos erupted.

"I was looking for the people that I came with, but I saw no one. People were hurt, others weren't there. That's when I started worrying."

Both men were close friends of Lucky Nelushi, who was one of two people killed in the attack.

WATCH: Hammanskraal survivors: We ran for our lives

Mavuso says he was paid R200, for three hours, to demolish shacks in Sekampaneng and Suurman.

He says he was only trying to make money and didn't anticipate that thousands of angry residents would turn on him.

Mavuso told EWN how he believed he would only be demolishing shacks, not removing families from their homes.

"We thought maybe people were [no longer] there, but there were people who were living there. By the time we arrived [and] started demolishing, the people who live there were getting angry."

He has described how he and fellow casual labourers were chased and beaten by residents protecting their homes.

"They started chasing us - if they caught you, you would have been beaten brutally. We just survived because we were running."

While Mavuso and his friends are recovering from their injuries, a steering committee has been appointed in Hammanskraal to help those whose homes were destroyed.

During his visit to the area last week, Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile said he believed residents when they say they were under the impression they had moved onto land legally.

Mashatile said the area will be developed to deliver formal housing to affected locals.

WATCH: Hammanskraal evictions halted

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