‘Ag­gres­sive’ land grab­bers in­ter­dicted by court

Post - - NEWS - NADIA KHAN

LE­NA­SIA res­i­dents threat­ened by land grab­bers were granted re­lief after the court in­ter­dicted in­vaders from en­ter­ing their premises un­law­fully or with­out per­mis­sion.

FR Auto Panel­beat­ers, Lenville Vil­lage, Mah­mood Wadee and Shabaan Chi­rambo, rep­re­sented by ad­vo­cate Yakoob Alli, had made an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion in the Gaut­eng High Court against the land in­vaders last Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the found­ing af­fi­davit, Goolam Ameer, of FR Auto Panel­beat­ers, al­leged that the re­spon­dents were a group of uniden­ti­fi­able land in­vaders.

“From my ob­ser­va­tion and in­ter­ac­tion with them, they are not in­di­vid­u­ally iden­ti­fi­able be­cause they do not dis­close their iden­tity and of­ten present them­selves col­lec­tively as a mob, threat­en­ing vi­o­lence and blood­shed.

“Their stated aim and ob­jec­tive is to iden­tify and seize va­cant and un­de­vel­oped land in Le­na­sia on the ap­par­ent ba­sis that it is unfair for them not to own the land.

“The col­lec­tive per­spec­tive of the group is to seize any land ir­re­spec­tive of whether it is pri­vately owned or not,” he al­leged.

He be­came aware that the re­spon­dents were in the process of land grab­bing on Oc­to­ber 19.

“There was con­cern among land own­ers in Le­na­sia.

“As such, I im­me­di­ately, on the same morn­ing, in­structed the fourth ap­pli­cant (Shabaan Chi­rambo) to com­mence with the build­ing and con­struc­tion of a bound­ary wall sur­round­ing the Jewel Street prop­erty to pre­clude the re­spon­dents from hav­ing easy ac­cess to the land. The fourth ap­pli­cant be­gan ex­ca­va­tion works for trench­ing the foun­da­tion.”

He said Chi­rambo had called later that day, stat­ing that a group of peo­ple had asked him to stop with the ex­ca­va­tion and asked to speak to him (Ameer).

An an­gry group of about 15 peo­ple awaited his ar­rival and told him no one was per­mit­ted to build on the Jewel Street Prop­erty.

“I ad­vised them that the first ap­pli­cant was the law­ful owner and (was) en­ti­tled to put up a bound­ary wall.”

Ameer said the set­ting was “highly emo­tional” and the group was an­gry and ag­gres­sive.

He said he no­ticed one of the men had a gun.

One of the women in the group said the land be­longed to the peo­ple and they wanted to build houses on it.

“She shouted at me in an ef­fort to in­tim­i­date me with vi­o­lence.”

He al­leged that on Oc­to­ber 22, he was again called to the same prop­erty where a larger group of al­leged land grab­bers had pitched up.

They al­legedly as­saulted staff and took their ex­ca­va­tion tools.

“They had threat­ened to set alight the fourth ap­pli­cant’s mo­tor ve­hi­cle. They set alight a tyre next to his mo­tor ve­hi­cle with the in­ten­tion to burn his car at which point the po­lice ar­rived.”

Ameer said he heard there was a land in­va­sion on the same day at The Reeds on Dim­ple Road.

Judge Ma­jake Mabesele or­dered that the land grab­bers be in­ter­dicted from en­ter­ing or tres­pass­ing on Le­na­sia Ex­ten­sion 13, which in­cludes Jewel Street, Dim­ple Road and The Reeds.

They were also in­ter­dicted from threat­en­ing, in­tim­i­dat­ing and as­sault­ing the ap­pli­cants and their em­ploy­ees; and from un­law­fully oc­cu­py­ing or tres­pass­ing on any pri­vately owned land in Le­na­sia.

If they are caught con­struct­ing any tem­po­rary or per­ma­nent res­i­dent dwellings in the area, the deputy sher­iff and po­lice are au­tho­rised to re­move the struc­ture while in the process of be­ing erected.

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