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Nothing illegal about Alexandra home demolitions - Red Ants

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the controversial security company said it was in possession of a 2016 court order authorising the removals.

FILE: The Red Ants line up during an eviction in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on 4 June 2014. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Red Ants Security and Evictions Services rejected allegations that it unlawfully removed residents in Alexandra.

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the controversial security company said it was in possession of a court order authorising the removals.

"Red Ants is in possession of a court order obtained by the City of Johannesburg against the unlawful occupiers dated back to 7 September 2016 which was handed down by Honourable Judge Windell before the Gauteng Local Division," the statement read.

The Red Ants, as they are known, demolished several houses belonging to residents in Stjwetla last week.

The Economic Freedom Fighters in Gauteng and Mayor Herman Mashaba claimed the Red Ants destroyed 80 structures illegally.

On Monday, Mashaba told residents of Stjwetla that he was not aware on whose authorised the demolitions took place, blaming what he called evil forces for the forceful evictions.

“What happened did not have my political directive and did not have the support of the multi-party government. There were evil forces that decided to take this decision to come and destroy your houses.”

That order authorised the sheriff of the High Court to remove any person found in breach and allowed the sheriff to demolish illegal structures erected on the property.

"The court order was made final on 9 September 2016," the statement further read.

The company said it only became involved in the Alexandra evictions last week after it was appointed by the City of Johannesburg to counter land invasions.

Earlier on Wednesday, Johannesburg city manager Ndivhoniswa Lukhwareni said he took full responsibility for the demolitions.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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