'You guys don’t belong here, you need to leave'

Affordable housing campaigners in Green Point are crying foul after an armed group tried to force them out of the building that they’re occupying.

FILE: Reclaim the City protesters occupy the Helen Bowden Nurses' Home. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Affordable housing campaigners in Green Point are crying foul after an armed group tried to force them out of the building they’re occupying.

More than 70 people are living in the once-vacant Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home in protest over the dearth of affordable rentals for working class people in the inner city.

Their campaign is related to the provincial government’s decision to sell the old Tafelberg school site in Sea Point instead of making it available for social housing.

Supporters of Reclaim the City have been living inside the provincial government-owned building since March, risking eviction or arrest.

But they were not expecting an armed group, brandishing pangas and guns, to storm the place on Wednesday night.

Nkosikhona Swartbooi, who is with the civil rights organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi, was in the building when the assailants began ransacking rooms and breaking windows.

“They said we’re here to claim this building… you guys don’t belong here you need to leave.”

No one was seriously hurt in the incident.

But campaigners believe it was an attempt to scare them off.

Police have taken five people in for questioning.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)