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CT cops monitor scene of protest after illegal land occupation

The City of Cape Town says it will not tolerate land invasions in the city and will act against those who incite violence.

Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

CAPE TOWN - Law enforcement officials are monitoring an area in Woodlands, Mitchells Plain, where violent protests erupted on Monday.

The law enforcement unit had removed 20 illegally erected structures.

The City of Cape Town’s Wayne Dyason says demonstrators fired flares at officers and two people have been arrested.

“Law enforcement assisted the city’s Housing Department and its contractor to remove illegally erected structures in Vrygrond and Mitchells Plain. In Woodlands, Mitchells Plain, the scene of an illegal occupation and subsequent reoccupation where people had built structures over the weekend, about 20 structures were removed. A crowd of about 120 people reacted violently.”

The Lentegeur Community Policing Forum has strongly condemned the violent protests in Woodlands.

CPF chairperson Byron De Villiers says they are concerned about residents and specifically children in the area.

"I can't understand why it's gone so far. We don't condone this behaviour. I urge the CPF to contact us so that we can meet to discuss this."

In Vrygrond, officials removed 25 illegal structures following a court order.

At the same time, the City of Cape Town says it will not tolerate land invasions and will act against those who incite violence.

Mayor Patricia de Lille has raised concern regarding the spate of land invasions, which in some cases have been violent.

VIDEO: 'Take a bullet for a house' - Parkwood residents continue protesting

She has stressed that land invasions are illegal and pose fire, health and flood risks.

De Lille's spokesperson Xolani Koyana says she's embarking on a series of discussions with the affected communities.

“Starting tomorrow she has a scheduled meeting with the residents of Vrygrond in her office to discuss possible proposals. We’re waiting on the leadership to confirm their attendance. This will be the fourth meeting with the residents of Vrygrond.”

De Lille has also delegated executive Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson to hold discussions with representatives of Parkwood.

The city says over the past few months, its intervention has resulted in a lull in violence related to land invasions in Gugulethu and Philippi. It adds it's important for residents to ensure that land earmarked for development is protected from land invaders.