Land invasion mayhem in Gugs

Residents torched a vehicle next to Mzolis place in their quest to occupy vacant land in the area.

Gugulethu land invaders have vowed to continue fighting, even if it means breaking the law and closing all the roads leading to town.

Since last week, tensions have been running high in the area after residents decided to occupy a piece of land at Uluntu Centre. Chaos erupted as they blocked the roads with burning objects and vandalised infrastructure on NY108.

They also tried to invade land behind Duma service station, marking plots with stones and pieces of plastic.

Resident Thozamile Mthombeni said Uluntu belonged to the community.

“They told us that this place was bought by a certain businessman. That cannot be true because this is a community area. We grew up here, playing here. Before they built the centre, it was a sports field.

“We used to play here and now we are going to build houses,” he said.

Mr Mthombeni said they had also decided to occupy the land because it was unused and people were being robbed on the site.

Another resident, Pinky Dunjani, said: “The land has been vacant since 2006. People who are here are on the housing database. They have been waiting for too long. This is their land so they have every right to build houses here. We are going to build nice shacks and we will help each other to do that,” she said.

She said residents had had numerous meetings about the land, with no result-and local leaders were clueless about who owned the land.

“We want the truth about Uluntu. They have destroyed the structures, but we will still stay here. We are not going anywhere,” she said, threatening the closure of major roads leading to Cape Town.

Vuyelwa Jilaji said the land was meant for business that did not work out and claimed that in all the meetings that had been held, no one had been honest with them.

“There must be a proper investigation to find out who is behind the lies about this land.

“If it was a community centre, what has stopped it to be a community property now?

“We will fight to the bitter end. This is our space,” said the angry resident.

Although the Gugulethu Development Forum (GDF) acknowledged the current housing backlog, it condemned the violent protests, describing them as criminal and calling for the arrest of the guilty parties.

The City had not responded to Vukani’s queries by the time this edition went to print.