Riot in Mfuleni over councillor’s “false promises”

Councillor’s house and community hall damaged

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Councillor in Mfuleni house damaged.

“We are tired of false promises by our councillor. It is almost a month. He promised us that he was going to let us occupy the piece of land opposite the flats,” said Patrick Yako, who has been staying in Mfuleni in a shack since 1994.

Yakho, 45, vowed that he and others would occupy a piece of land behind a block of flats on Ngubela Street.

Residents allege that councillor Themba Honono promised them that they could occupy the land. But when they made their move, law enforcement officers broke down the shacks the next day.

“This is not the first time he has not honoured his promises. This time we are not going to be stopped by anyone. We are only waiting for the law enforcement to go and then we [will re-]occupy the land,” said Yakho.

Today, law enforcement were clearing the area. Boards and plastic sheeting were being loaded on trucks. The community could be seen in small groups along Ngubela Street. Burnt tyres were removed. The roof of the community hall was burnt and the councilor’s house in Mbaba Street was vandalised; a garage door and a broken window pane could be seen. In the garage was a car with the back window smashed.

“They had broken the outside drainage pump and water was flowing all over. A petrol bomb was thrown inside our house breaking the window pane,” said a member of the household who wished to be anonymous.

GroundUp was not however shown any evidence of a petrol bomb. 

Thandile Mbuyazve, one of the committee members of Mfuleni Backyarders, said, “Mfuleni residents are demanding houses but the way they were doing it is very wrong. Why [are they] destroying property in the process?”

According to JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, the protest action also damaged three City vehicles and one private car.

GroundUp has been unable to contact the councillor.

TOPICS:  Housing Local government

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