Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
23 Sep 2017
5:20 am

Police to probe deaths in Red Ants clash near Lenasia

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

City of Joburg says it is aware of a person believed to be shot dead before the shack demolitions even commenced.

A red Ant security guard chase after community members at Vlakfontein extension 4, Johannesburg, 22 September 2017. Red Ants demolished hundreds of shacks in the area and it is alleged that 6 people died. Picture: Cebile Ntuli

Police were yesterday investigating the deaths of two people reportedly killed at the same place in Unaville, near Lenasia, where Red Ants were deployed to demolish illegally constructed shacks.

Violence broke out from early in the morning when Red Ants allegedly clashed with occupants who had been living on invaded land owned by the City of Joburg.

Over a dozen Johannesburg metro police vans were deployed as the situation intensified, with residents throwing rocks at cars and into the road.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela denied reports that more than two people had died at the hands of Red Ants, saying police were only aware of the two deaths.

He could not confirm if they were linked to the clashes between Red Ants and the occupants.

City spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said it was not an eviction, but rather a demolition order effected by the sheriff of the court.

“The sheriff of the court went to execute a demolition order in line with an order of the court from July 26.

“The order was for the demolition of unoccupied, illegally erected structures, which were built as a result of a land invasion in areas that were earmarked by the city for the construction of a housing development.”

Mfeka said the city was aware of a person they believed was shot dead before the demolition commenced. DA ward councillor for the area Vinay Choonie said about 600 people were living on the land. –

See the gallery below from the chaotic demolition: Pictures by Nigel Sibanda and Cebile Ntuli