'They just started shooting at us' - Red Ants fire rubber bullets at residents evicted from vacant Mamelodi flats
The Red Ants security service used rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of people who were evicted from unallocated vacant apartments in Nellmapius in Mamelodi East, Pretoria on Monday morning.
But the residents said they had nowhere else to go.
Scores of people were left sitting on the side of the road with their belongings.
At one point, the Red Ants started shooting at the crowd and some people merely stood around in the vicinity of apartment blocks.
Many of those who were left without a roof over their heads told News24 they would not allow voting to go ahead until the housing issue had been resolved in Mamelodi.
Others said that while many of the apartments had not been finished yet, because sanitation or electricity facilities had not yet been installed, it did not deter them from moving into the flats.
Willing to pay rent
"We come to a point where we wanted to secure this place," said one resident.
Another person said they were willing to pay rent and finish the units themselves because they were desperate to avoid ending up homeless.
Community members also said the apartments had been left open and unfinished for around three years. They moved into the units and they took up occupation earlier this year.
The situation outside the apartment blocks was emotional. Many refused to leave the area until government heard their pleas for help.
A 61-year-old woman was standing near one of the apartment blocks, after she was evicted, when she was shot in the leg.
Several other people were also shot and wounded as they ran for cover.
"We are not fighting with them, but they just started shooting at us," the elderly woman told News24.
This is a developing story. More to follow.
Rent ants are currently evicting people from newly apartment blocks in Mamelodi East. People who have no alternative accommodation are now sitting with their belongings on the side of the road @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/tGVvR8onIL— Alex Mitchley (@AlexMitchley) April 15, 2019
Red Ants have just opened fire on evictees to disperse them. A 61 year-old woman who was just standing around was shot in the leg. Several others were also wounded during the evictions of unallocated apartment blocks in Nelmapius, Mamelodi East @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/UwRnbOfM27— Alex Mitchley (@AlexMitchley) April 15, 2019
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