Occupants who erected shacks on a piece of land in the Polonia section of Mmakau in the Madibeng Local Municipality, have opened a case of malicious damage to property, after their shacks were demolished by residents.

After the shacks were demolished, some of the squatters re-assembled them and have insisted that they are going nowhere, as the tug-of-war over a vacant piece of land in the Polonia section of Mmakau has intensified.

The owner of the land Godfrey Makopo says he had no hand in the destruction of the shacks.

Makopo says, “It’s private land, not land that belongs to Polonia or Bakgatlha Ba Mmakau. I bought it from Mr Louis van der Merwe and I have the deeds. They cannot register a property while there are land claims or there are undefined issues, because it took some time for that property to be registered…”

“Those people that are invading the land, they fight amongst themselves, they are fighting for the land that is for a private person, they have been on my land from June 1 and erected their shacks, but I left them,” added Makopo.

MMC for Community Safety in the Madibeng Local Municipality, Marcus Machete, says the law must take its course against illegal occupants.

Machete says, “After the President has announced the national lockdown, there should be no gatherings, even allocation of stands from members of the community are not allowed. There will be an eviction order, there is nothing we can do, those people must go back to where they came from, the rightful owner must occupy his land…”

Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone says, “We can confirm that we are currently investigating a case of malicious damage to property, this after the owners of the shacks opened a case, after unknown people allegedly burnt their shacks and damaged them, at this stage we haven’t arrested anyone…”

The Bakgatlha ba Mmakau Tribal Authority says the piece of land is not under their administration and it is privately owned.

Story by: Salang Motsepe