Duduzile Gumede
2 minute read
22 Apr 2020
8:00 am

Lockdown diaries: Govt exposes Kokotela residents to virus

Duduzile Gumede

Instead of protecting the people, social distancing and isolation flew out of the window when the Red Ants moved in.

Kokotela informal settlement residents barricade Walter Road in Johannesburg South, 19 April 2020. MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta Lebogang Maile and Gauteng Mayor Geoff Makhubo's planned visit to the area after about 188 shacks were demolished by the Red Ants. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Three weeks into South Africa’s lockdown, tempers are beginning to flare as people make this “new normal” part of their lives. But no one was prepared for the anger of the residents of Kokotela informal settlement south of Johannesburg when their lives were turned upside down. Lawley residents were adhering to the rules by staying indoors – cramped, but indoors. But what brought them out in droves was when the cops and Red Ant Security Relocation & Eviction Services moved in and broke down their shacks – and even brick houses. On Thursday morning the Red Ants moved in; on...