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Student: My possessions were demolished

2014-07-31 17:15
Cape Town - Structures erected on Sanral-owned land in Cape Town were demolished with possessions still inside, a student said on Thursday.

"They demolished the structure with my property inside and took it, loaded it onto the truck and left with it," Sisanda Mbayimbayi, 26, told an inquiry investigating the removals of people and structures off the land on 2 and 3 June.

"They said our property and material was being kept somewhere but according to my information, the possibility is high that they went to throw it away somewhere."

Mbayimbayi, a Northlink College student, said her son was not with her when her house was demolished on 3 June.

She first moved onto the land in December after deciding that the backyard structure she lived in with her sister in Zola was too crowded.

She had seen other people building structures on the land in Lwandle and decided she would do the same.

Ultimatum

The first round of removals took place in February and her structure was demolished. Only five structures were left on the land.

Mbayimbayi said a man called Chris warned them to stay off the land but they rebuilt their structures because they saw that five were still standing.

She was surprised when she saw police officers and city law enforcement on the land on 2 June.

They gave residents an ultimatum to move their property off the land within 10 minutes, but she said this was impossible.

"While I was busy trying to get my property, the only thing I could get hold of was my haversack with my identity documents and while I was busy, police started shooting."

She said police played "hide-and-seek" with residents by forcing them to run in one direction and then pushing them back to where they had run from.

On the second day of removals, she said she saw city police chasing, assaulting, and arresting people.

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