'Brutalising the poor and most vulnerable': Mzansi weighs in on Red Ants demolitions

23 April 2020 - 12:12
By Unathi Nkanjeni
The Red Ants destroyed shacks and houses that had allegedly been illegally built by residents of Kokotela informal settlement in Lawley, south of Johannesburg, on Monday.
Image: Alon Skuy The Red Ants destroyed shacks and houses that had allegedly been illegally built by residents of Kokotela informal settlement in Lawley, south of Johannesburg, on Monday.

The Red Ants' approach of removing homes constructed in informal settlements in Johannesburg has been met with rage online.

More than a dozen shacks and brick houses in Lawley and Alexandra have been demolished and allegedly looted by the Red Ants, acting on the instruction of mayor Geoff Makhubo on Tuesday.

The structures had allegedly been built illegally after forceful land invasions, before the nationwide lockdown. 

Videos circulating on social media show Red Ants demolishing houses while people try to collect what's left of their belongings.

TimesLIVE reported that a group of residents from Lawley applied to the high court, wanting the city to compensate them or rebuild their homes.

However, the court dismissed the application, saying they had failed to prove their case.

In a statement, Makhubo said the city would continue to act against lawbreakers who took over land illegally. He said police would arrest people who were illegally selling land they did not own to desperate individuals.

“We urge those who were defrauded and illegally sold land to come forward and report their cases to the police,” he said.

On social media, many, including former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, slammed the Red Ants' approach, saying it was “disgraceful”.

Here is a snapshot of what South Africans had to say on the matter.