The police are said to have discharged a stun-grenade that sent people running for cover.

The people in question was a group of residents who had forcibly occupied vacant RDP houses in the area, , and spray-paint their names on the outside walls.

But the City of Tshwane indicated that an eviction was in order for the illegal occupants of the houses, which were not yet ready for occupation.

When the occupants heard that the Police and Red Ants were coming they gathered in their number and blocked the road with stones.

The next moment police reacted, with the men in blue firing rubber bullets to disperse the group. They retreated, ducking and diving for cover.

Among those running for dear life was Sammy Ndou, who claimed he was shot at by the police and later attacked by the Red Ants. “I was unarmed and wanted no fight; why did they beat me, what wrong was I doing?”

The group has threatened to reoccupy the houses again. While some others said they could not wait any longer for the city and provincial government to allocate RDP houses, adding that the houses were empty.

The Acting mayoral spokesperson Matthew Gerstner said the evictees had not complied with police instructions and became violent.

The police were forced to fire rubber bullets after they came under attack from the people who had illegally occupied the houses, he said.

“The City of Tshwane condemns criminal behaviour in illegally occupying the houses and has issued a stern warning to the occupiers that lawlessness would not be tolerated,” said Gerstner. “Police will maintain a visible presence on the ground and deal decisively with anyone who attempts to break the law. About 1 800 units had been built and 720 are ready for occupation, while the construction of the others was still being finalised.”

None of the illegal occupiers were on the list of approved beneficiaries, and the operation to end their illegal occupation now makes way for the legal beneficiaries to receive the houses they deserve, Gerstner added.

The residents also blockaded roads with bricks and gathered to express their frustrations. The Community leaders met with police officials and said they were asked to put down their names. However they refused for fear of “selling ourselves to the city and police”.

Source:- IOL