Fire razes buildings as Red Ants carry out evictions

30 September 2015 - 02:29 By Penwell Dlamini

Minutes after residents were evicted from a building in downtown Johannesburg yesterday, the structure was engulfed in flames. The Red Ants arrived at the derelict Dukathole in Jeppestown at 8am and ordered everyone to leave the building as they were carrying out an eviction.Furniture was tossed onto the streets and chaos erupted as people tried to save their belongings."We were told the building is no longer suitable for anyone to live in. We told them we wanted to take our furniture ourselves but they did not listen. They started removing people's stuff and were even throwing it anywhere on the road," said Sbusiso Msane, one of the tenants.Just as the building was being evacuated it caught fire. Police and firefighters rushed to the scene but by 2pm the entire building was covered in smoke and flames.Some of the tenants accused the Red Ants of starting the fire while others said it was a resident.The fire then jumped to the adjacent block of flats, Kwambongwa, which also went up in flames."I was called from work to rush to my place. When I arrived, everybody had been evacuated and my stuff was burnt inside. It's bad. We had nothing to do with the eviction," said a Kwambongwa tenant.Warrant Officer Richard Munyai said the cause of the fire was not known and a case of arson was being investigated.Additional reporting by Alon Skuy

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