Mangaung Metro removes land invaders in Lourierpark

Mangaung Metro removes land invaders in Lourierpark

Lourierpark in Bloemfontein is currently red with eviction security company personnel the Red Ants dismantling the shacks of land invaders in the areas. Mangaung Metro is implement a court order it obtained on 2 March 2024 to evict the people and prevent further illegal land grabs.

The City says over the past weeks, it has witnessed illegal land grabs across the Metro, including in Phahameng, Bloemfontein. Community members, who claim that they have waited for far too long to be allocated land, have been invading open spaces.

Likewise, Lourierpark was invaded by people who claim to have exhausted their patience waiting for the municipality to give them land. Mangaung Metro then applied for a court interdict at the high Court and was granted to remove the people on 2 March. However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mangaung Metro was not impressed with the delay to implement the court order.

According to Dr Roy Jankielsohn, the DA Leader in the Free State and Premier Candidate and Member of Provincial Legislature, the opposition party submitted an application to the Free State High Court seeking judicial intervention to enforce the interdict to prevent land grabs in Lourierpark.

Ward 18 in Lourierpark is a DA led ward and the opposition party alleges acts of sabotage ahead of the general election by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Jankielsohn said The DA has instructed its legal representatives to approach the High Court to: Force the Metro to do what it set out to do with the court order it obtained on Saturday and grant appropriate relief against the persons or organisations who are interfering with the execution of the court order and who are subverting the effect thereof.

 “The illegal land grabs in the Mangaung Metro Municipality prove that the ANC government is failing at the most basic task of ensuring land, housing and title deeds to residents. After an interdict was issued by the Mangaung Metro, Mayor Gregory Nthatisi’s decision to allow the occupiers to stay compromises the Metro, undermines the rule of law and sets a dangerous precedent. DA Ward 18 Councillor, Dave McKay has shown leadership with ongoing attempts to diffuse the situation including alerting law enforcement before the illegal land grab activity took place,” said Dr. Roy Jankielsohn.

“The anarchy in store for the entire South Africa under an ANC/EFF coalition is now on full display in Bloemfontein. The DA will continue to monitor the situation and will ensure that the court order is implemented by the municipality. We call on the people in this province to put an end to this chaos and vote to prevent the doomsday scenario that is unfolding in Bloemfontein and stand with a strong DA government that can bring the change they need,” he concluded.

The City Manager Mr Sello More said, as part of implementing the court order, various stakeholders needed to be consulted, including the South African Police (SAPS), Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) Law enforcement, and the Red Ants who are currently demolishing the illegal structures erected in the area.

More further explained that the court order compels the respondents to only demolish the incomplete and unoccupied structures erected in Lourierpark.

“It should be noted that every time there are land invasions, the municipality uses its constrained resources that could have been directed to service delivery programmes. As the city, we call upon those who are involved in land invasion projects to join hands with the municipality and put a stop to illegal activities. We are mindful of the backlog of site allocation, but there is a process that is in place that is being fast-tracked to settle all those who are in the site allocation list,” said the City Manager Sello More.

More has since assured Mangaung residents that the Metro will be taking bold steps to put an end to illegal land grabs and protect law -abiding citizens.

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