I just got back from an attempted land grab of Municipal Property in Faerie Glen, Plaston Str.
I arrived on site this afternoon with the community who wanted to meet with the ‘owners’ of the property after they started building and even put in an illegal water connection to this property, probably to make the construction seem more legitimate.
Unfortunately for the land grabbers, the community is very well organized and aware of the fact that this property is a Municipal Road Reserve.
I immediately contacted the MMC as well as the Chairperson of Roads & Transport from the site, who confirmed my position that no Municipal Land was sold to these ‘owners’.
I proceeded to disrupt this meeting, saying that we cannot engage with thugs grabbing land and, unless they can prove the contrary, they should leave – this prompted the land grabbers, who were very diplomatic up until then, to show their true colors and intent.
The land grabbers became very hostile and threatened the community that they will burn down their homes and kill them. There were a few shuffles between the land grabbers and the community which TMPD Officers, and later also SAPS, had to break up.
The negotiator later asked me to get the community to agree to a round table meeting during the week, only then will they leave. I told him that if they don’t leave, I will not be held responsible for any possible actions of the community.
They left within 15min thereafter, shouting that they will take the land by force.
The Tshwane Metro Police Department’s Land Invasion Unit will start cleaning the area.
I have also made contact with the Community Policing Forum, who mobilized, and security companies will patrol this area to ensure the safety of the residents.
We always think that this will not happen to us. Clearly it does, and in this case a very quiet street in Pretoria East.
The community, from all walks of life, yet again showed their calibre by mobilizing against lawlessness and sent the land grabbers leaving with, among others, a Mercedes Benz and a Range Rover.
My plea to you is:
Get involved in the CPF.
Get onto a community WhatsApp or Telegram group.
Build a personal relationship with your security company.
We can only succeed if we work together, as a community.
To the residents in the area of the land grab, well done and thank you for being active citizens!
Cllr. Ernst Botha