From the news desk

Khayelitsha land occupiers granted bail

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On Monday, six people involved in the “Town Two” land occupation arrested on Friday appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrate Court on charges of public violence.

The six live as backyarders in Town Two; four of them are women. They were all granted R500 bail on condition that they will not be involved in any act of public violence, GroundUp reports.

The R3 000 bail still has to be raised and the six will remain in custody until then. The community is meeting to discuss raising the money.

The six are set to appear in court again on August 14.

On Saturday, backyarders marched to Lingelethu police station to demand the arrested land occupiers be released and for the police to investigate the murder of Mthunzi ‘Ras’ Zuma. He was one of the leaders of the land occupation and he was shot dead on May 28.

The sister of the deceased, Zanele Zuma, addressed the crowd in front of the police station and said that as a family they were thankful for the support they had received.

“We will walk this road together. The land in Zwelethu is ours, whether they like it or not,” she said.

“It is three weeks now since my brother passed away, and we have seen no progress in his case from the police. I want to see my brother’s murderer.”

One of the land occupiers, Philela Gilwa, told GroundUp that people present when Mthunzi was shot had been interviewed by the police.

Captain Frederick Van Wyk of the Western Cape SAPS (South African Police Service) said the case was under investigation, but no arrests had been made.

A memorandum from the marchers was signed and received by Captain Belinda Rossouw. The station commander was unavailable that Saturday and the protesters were told to return on Wednesday.

Anda Ntsodo, the mayoral committee member for the area, said, “The City has a court order interdicting any person from illegally occupying the land referred to [land next to the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court, in Makhaya and also Kuyasa].”

“The City follows a systematic approach in an effort to ensure fairness and to prevent queue-jumping … Although we empathise with the plight of our residents, we simply cannot allow the invasion of land. Invaded land becomes a fire-, flood- and health risk and it makes the provision of basic and emergency services almost impossible in some cases.”

Ntsodo said, “Cape Town has the highest urbanisation rate in the country. It is imperative that we uphold a fair and equitable system of delivering and accelerating the provision of housing opportunities and other services to those in need and to our most vulnerable residents.”

“The City urges backyarders to register on the City’s Housing Database and to await a formal housing opportunity, rather than to act illegally,” said Ntsodo.

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