Cape Town – The Kalkfontein family of Nontuthuzelo Thafeni, who lost her eye in a land invasion protest, are waiting for her to regain consciousness before they can lodge a formal complaint.
They have alleged that she was hit by a City law enforcement officer after being shot in the face while she was inside her friend’s yard.
As conflict between land invaders and the City persists, Kalkfontein residents accused law enforcement officers of firing shots at them on Saturday, without provocation.
According to resident Luvuyo Ntakana, he and others had been occupying a vacant piece of land for 10 days.
He said many people there were backyard dwellers who could no longer afford to pay rent as they had lost their jobs in the national lockdown.
“When the officers came at the weekend, they just demanded that people move, not understanding that they had nowhere to go.
“We informed them there was no notice letter and they must provide it. When they refused to do so, people protested against being removed. They started firing rubber bullets at us,” said Ntakana.
Thafeni’s daughter, Likhwezi Joyi, said she got a phone call from work that her mother was shot in the eye.
“She had to be rushed to Tygerberg Hospital the same day, and (yesterday) she was due to be operated on so that the eye is removed.
“As her family we will wait for her to be discharged so that we can report this brutality to the police,” said Joyi.
The City’s acting executive director for safety and security, Wayne le Roux said: “The City’s law enforcement department is not aware of this, as nothing has been reported to us. It is advised that the person reports the matter to the SAPS for investigation.”
Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi dismissed all the allegations.
“The residents are aware that these are attempts to illegally invade land which they are not allowed to do. This is not an eviction.
“This was an operation to prevent the illegal occupation of land.
“The City removed the illegally erected structures,” said Booi.
Meanwhile thousands of people across the city took to the streets in a series of demonstrations in various areas yesterday, burning tyres in some parts, and blocking major highways in others.
This was in support of a call by pressure group Gatvol Capetonian to highlight the plight of backyarders; as land invasions continue to spike.
Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said five people were arrested.
“SAPS members with Metro police and traffic services are busy opening closed roads. Small groups are gathering in some areas. A stone-throwing incident was also reported,” said Potelwa.
Gatvol Capetonian spokesperson Fadiel Adams said he was satisfied with the support the group had received from residents.
“Shutdown went peacefully and those who are part of the violent protest are not with us and we condemn such actions,” said Adams.