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Prasa distances itself from Newtown eviction violence

Around 65 families were forcefully removed from the building on Friday, with many of them claiming that they were beaten, assaulted and harassed in the process.

FILE: Red Ants workers. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has admitted that it ordered the Red Ants to carry out an eviction at one of its buildings in Newtown but says it cannot be held liable for any violence that occurred during the operation.

Around 65 families were forcefully removed from the building on Friday, with many of them claiming that they were beaten, assaulted and harassed in the process.

Prasa's Nana Zenani says the Red Ants must be held responsible for its members' ill-discipline.

"The level at which we were engaging with the Red Ants in terms of the work is for the eviction to be carried out, not for people to be shouted at. Prasa does not support any abuse of human rights, at any level."

One resident criticized the manner in which the eviction was carried out.

"The Red Ants came in the morning; they throw away everything in our houses. They throw away even our kids, hitting us. They said we must go here [sic]."

It is understood that the building has been earmarked for development.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)