Tensions flare between SAPS & ‘anti-apartheid combatants’ in Durban CBD

A group of people calling themselves anti-apartheid combatants hijacked a derelict hotel last week and have now been removed.

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DURBAN - There is a tense stand-off under way between the police and people purporting to be former anti-apartheid combatants in the Durban CBD.

A group of people calling themselves anti-apartheid combatants hijacked a derelict hotel last week on Wednesday and have now been removed.

Members of an organisation calling itself the Liberation Struggle War Veterans Association said the African National Congress government promised them a prosperous life after 1994, but it had so far failed to deliver.

Desperate for the housing they said they were promised, they hijacked a derelict building in the Durban CBD last week.

Authorities evicted the group earlier on Wednesday and are now securing the building as the protesters watch on.

Spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the hijacking of buildings was unnecessary.

“The MEC for Public Works Jomo Sibiya has offered to work with all stakeholders here in KwaZulu-Natal to ensure the provision of human settlements and he has also singled out the military veterans. He understands the frustrations they are going through.”

Lwazi Mzobe from the Liberation Struggle War Veterans Association said the eviction was merely a setback, and they planned to take over more government-owned buildings until they got new homes.

“We want to warn and inform the national government and also the national Department of Public Works that the programme in KZN will be intensified in a way they have never seen before.”

The Department of Public Works has ordered the construction of a concrete barricade outside the former Four Season Palm Beach Hotel in a bid to prevent another hijacking of the building.

All pictures by Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News.

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