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[UPDATE] Police use rubber bullets to disperse Protea Glen land protesters

The group says they want space to erect their homes and the vacant piece of land is an ideal location.

FILE: Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police had to use rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse a crowd which had blocked access to Randfontein Road in Protea Glen, south of Johannesburg.

Authorities say the group has been trying to illegally grab land for the past week, claiming they wanted the space to build their homes.

The group says they want space to erect their homes and the vacant piece of land is an ideal location.

While burning tyres, throwing stones, effectively obstructing traffic, it’s understood the protest comes as frustration mounts over the government’s perceived lack of rapid response in providing adequate housing.

Police are on the scene and after a heated exchange, authorities explain that the chaos has subsided.

JMPD’s Wayne Minnaar says, “The situation is under control and the traffic is flowing as normal on Randfontein Road.”

One protestor told Eyewitness News that they have found the owners of the vacant land and will make a return to the area to build their homes.

“They bought guns as if we’re fighting. We’ve met the rightful owners of the land and they’ve given us the go-ahead to stay there, we’re coming tomorrow.”

Minnaar had earlier advised motorist to avoid Randfontein Road and use alternative routes.

“A protest erupted in the area, burning tyres and rocks are blocking the road hence motorists are advised to avoid that road.”

This resident has told Eyewitness News that they will not be deterred from their efforts of occupying land as the government has failed to provide them with adequate accommodation.

“We are here to occupy that land. We don’t want anything but land. We here as community members and not members of a particular political party.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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