Soshanguve resident tells the tale of traumatic Hammanskraal violence
Gaddaffi says he still has flashbacks of how he & fellow workers were beaten by Hammanskraal residents.
JOHANNESBURG - A Soshanguve resident, who was assaulted while carrying out evictions in Hammanskraal, has told Eyewitness News how he's still traumatised by having to leave his friend in the hands of angry residents.
The unemployed youth, who goes by the name of Gaddaffi, says he ran in the maze of shacks in Sekampaneng when residents, who refused to move from land owned by the City of Tshwane, retaliated.
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.
Gaddaffi says he was shocked to find out his close friend, Lucky Nelushi, whom he left behind, was one of two people killed in the assault.
He says he still has flashbacks of how he and fellow casual workers were beaten by Hammanskraal residents.
"When we ran, we saw them holding someone and beating them up, but we carried on running."
He says he had no choice but to run to save his own life, leaving his friend Nelushi and others behind.
"I was at that situation and I survived. You can't stand and look, you've to run for your life."
But he says he understands why Hammanskraal locals fought back, and says they were caught off-guard by attempts to remove them from their homes.
WATCH: Hammanskraal Survivors: We ran for our lives.
'CONFUSION' & 'CHAOS'
Gaddaffi's friend, known as Mavuso, who was also working that day, has described his confusion when the chaos erupted.
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.