After obtaining a court interdict and demolition order on Friday afternoon‚ the Buffalo City Municipality on Saturday opened a case of trespassing against anyone occupying land illegally on the R72.
“Following reports of a land invasion‚ the municipality has followed the laws of the country strictly in order to act decisively‚” said municipal spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya.
“We are now in a position to arrest anyone trespassing on the land and prosecute them successfully.
“The municipality has also erected public notices around the area and as per law‚ the court order was read out to those who were found in the area this afternoon and they were given 10 minutes to disperse.
“Failure to do so would have led to arrests‚” Ngwenya added.
In terms of the court order‚ anyone commencing or continuing to erect/ occupy the farm number 924 area in East London is interdicted and restrained. The order also empowers police to take all necessary and reasonable steps to dismantle or demolish any structure erected illegally on the property.
Ngwenya said that government policy and subsequent action on land invasion issues was very clear particularly on demarcated land.
“We are committed in protecting our natural resources including the protected forest and ensuring that national government is able to expand the East London airport in order to grow the City socio-economically and attract investment towards developing the City.
“These land invasions are standing in the way of that.
“We strongly condemn them and we would like to send a strong warning to those who have undertaken this illegal act that they have taken a very bad gamble.
“Illegal land invasion is a crime – and like all crimes‚ the law is very clear on what results could be‚ including demolitions.”
Ngwenya added that any rumours that the occupation of the land around the airport had been sanctioned by government was totally untrue.
Source: TMG Digital.