Police monitor Protea Glen following violent protests

Residents have vowed to continue with their protest if the police fail to deal with illegal land grabbers.

Police monitor the group of protesters in Protea Glen following illegal land grabs. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Police are keeping a close eye on the situation in Protea Glen, south of Johannesburg, following violent protests in the area.

There were running battles with police on Monday during the protests, which prompted law enforcement officers to fire rubber bullets leaving several people injured.

The community and illegal squatters have been clashing in the area over the past week, with residents claiming that they are merely protecting their properties.

The residents are demanding that Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba address their concerns, warning that they will not allow illegal land grabbers to occupy space next to their homes.

Councillor Elliot Sithole says that if they are allowed to stay at the open field, Protea Glen residents may be left to deal with high water and electricity bills which may arise from illegal connections.

He says that community members do not have a problem with people occupying the land but says that they should be placed there lawfully.

“What I did is that I wanted police to be involved so that we avoid the confrontation of black-to-black violence.”

Residents have vowed to continue with their protest if the police fail to deal with illegal land grabbers.

Meanwhile, those grabbing land have also sworn to return to the vacant land, saying that their need for immediate housing should be addressed as a matter of urgency.

WATCH: Protea Glen residents to apply for interdict against land grabbers

Human Settlements MEC Uhuru Moiloa visited Protea Glen last week to calm tensions, but conflict flared once again on Monday.

Several protesters were injured during running battles with police on Monday afternoon.

Sithole said this protest against illegal land occupants is showing results and now it’s up to the police to keep them away from vacant land near homes.

“I’ve already told them that their actions today have worked because it has also made the president of this country aware.”

He said a court interdict against the illegal occupants would go a long way.

“The legal people will explain to us tomorrow what it [the interdict] entails and how it’s going to prevent them from land grabbing.”

The situation is now calm in the area after Sithole appealed to residents for tolerance.

He has, however, warned the police to not provoke residents by using force, saying that they are merely trying to protect their properties.