Lwandle eviction video raises objections

Cape Town - A shortened video, showing residents and police facing off over shacks being removed in Cape Town, was objected to by members of the Lwandle inquiry on Tuesday.

Advocate Ncumisa Mayosi, instructed by the state attorney on behalf of the SA Police Service, had brought the 20-minute video to show how they enforced public order during removals on 2 June and 3 June.

The clips were taken from 19 CDs of video footage previously handed to, and seen by the inquiry.

A few minutes into the shortened video, various members of the inquiry questioned the purpose of the exercise because it left certain things out.

"I fear a situation where the police are going to show us what is of interest to them and not actually the full picture of what happened," inquiry member Mampe Ramotsomai said.

Fellow inquiry member Annelize van Wyk remarked the presentation could have been edited to advance the police's cause.

Commission chair Denzil Potgieter said the differences could be debated after the shortened version had been seen.

The inquiry was set up by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to probe the removals of people and structures from the SA National Roads Agency Limited road reserve in June.

The shortened video of the removals showed police officers in full riot gear attempting to advance to the shacks.

Residents were seen throwing stones and petrol bombs at a police Nyala vehicle and officers. They blockaded the road into Lwandle with burning tree stumps and other material. At times, officers fired rubber bullets or stun grenades.

Police then announced on loudspeakers, in English and Xhosa, that residents' actions were illegal and action would be taken within 10 minutes if they did not disperse immediately.

Residents responded by toppling a large green shipping container and moving it to block the road further.

Police in Nyalas moved into the area and barbed wire was laid down from a truck.

Shacks were seen being pulled down and later the building material was removed on trailers.