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Red Ants seek legal advice after being ‘barred’ from operating in JHB

Earlier this week, EFF Gauteng chairperson Mandisa Mashego told Alexandra residents that a motion was passed in 2016 that the Red Ants should no longer be used.

FILE: Red Ants evict residents of a block of flats on Harrison Street in Jeppestown. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Red Ants security services said it was unaware of a resolution taken by the Johannesburg city council to blacklist the company from operating in the city.

Earlier this week, Economic Freedom Fighters Gauteng chairperson Mandisa Mashego told Alexandra residents that a motion was passed in 2016 that the Red Ants should no longer be used.

At least 80 illegally erected structures were destroyed last week by the Red Ants in the township, leaving hundreds of people without shelter.

The Red Ants have shared their side of the story after Mayor Herman Mashaba told residents that he was angered by the way their eviction took place.

Mashaba was accompanied by Mashego on Monday and told residents their houses were demolished illegally.

Mashigo said: “We pushed the motion. The Red Ants must not be used! The motion was passed. They accepted the motion and it was processed. The speaker can tell you it’s been converted to a resolution of council.”

The Red Ants said the company obtained a court order from the City of Johannesburg which authorised last week’s evictions.

The company further explained it was never informed that it could not operate and added it would seek legal advice.

CITY MANAGER

Joburg City Manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni said operational officials held a meeting, a day before the demolition of the shacks last week.

The city manager has been testifying before the Human Rights Commission inquiry into Alexandra.

Lukhwareni first told the panel he took full responsibility for the demolitions as he was the accounting officer but later said he did not authorise the operation nor did he sign the court order.

He, however, could not explain who authorised the destruction, despite being the accounting officer.

“There was a preparation meeting at an operational level. It’s not a meeting that you’d expect me or the mayor to sit in and so that happened and plans were hedged.”

He said an investigation was underway.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)