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Human Rights Lawyers blamed for preventing cleaning up of hijacked buildings

Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has blamed Human Rights Lawyers for the delay in evacuating and refurbishing hijacked buildings in downtown Johannesburg.

FILE: Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has blamed Human Rights Lawyers for the delay in evacuating and refurbishing hijacked buildings in downtown Johannesburg.

Seven people were killed when a fire broke out on the second floor of an abandoned building on Nugget Street.

The mayor says he's heartbroken.

“If I can have civil society giving me permission, if I can have the courts giving us permission, I can have all agencies of this country allowing me. We will embark on this process of the renovation of taking over this city tomorrow. But unfortunately, I have to operate within the legal framework.”

JUDICIARY HELP

Mashaba has called on the judiciary to help him to make sure hijacked buildings are evacuated so that they can be refurbished.

Mashaba has blamed Human Rights Lawyers for standing in the way of cleaning up hijacked buildings.

Local ward councillor Nokuthula Xaba says this is the third time the building has caught fire.

Xaba says Mayor Mashaba tried to evacuate the building but Human Rights Lawyers took him to court.

Mashaba says anyone stopping the city from evacuating people from such buildings aren’t promoting human rights.

Police are investigating the latest incident.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)