Tears flow as Ace Magashule promises to deliver poor whites from 'racist DA'
Ace Magashule brought the residents from a mostly poor white community in Hermanus to tears after he promised to secure their land even if it means expropriating it.
Magashule paid a visit to the former holiday resort, now home to dozens of families, while he was on the election campaign trail on Wednesday.
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Many families face eviction after the 22ha plot on which they live changed hands. The new owner, a developer, has begun eviction proceedings.
The visit was almost foiled when Magashule's entourage was denied access to the park by security guards, who had locked the gate. The police were called to intervene and ANC supporters eventually made their way inside to speak to residents.
Speaking to sobbing residents, Magashule claimed the DA were "worse racists, removing white people from where they have been".
Videos from his official Twitter page showed him handing out ANC T-shirts and telling the residents in Afrikaans that they should vote for the ANC on May 8.
"Nobody removes you from here. The land cannot be stolen from you, you guys ... The DA is claiming to be a non-racial party. It's really worse racists removing white people from where they have been," said Magashule.
He claimed that land was "given to individuals who were leasing" the Paradise Park property. He vowed to "fight and remain" with the residents in their struggle to avoid being evicted.
One of the residents can be seen on a video speaking with Magashule, saying that they bought their houses on the land.
Magashule then tells him in Afrikaans: "That's why we say today the ANC is the only hope, for white and black people."
In another video, a female resident claims to have lived there for three years and that she was going to be moved to Stanford as part of the eviction process. She pleads with Magashule, claiming she can't go to Stanford.
Magashule told the resident that she must stay in Paradise Park.
"Don't go anywhere. Stay here. We are going to make sure that even if we have to expropriate this land, because initially this land belonged to government and somebody was leasing it, and in the middle of the lease somebody wants to say I'm the owner ... It can't be, this is the corruption we are supposed to be investigating," he said before handing her a T-shirt and telling her to vote ANC.
The woman broke down in tears and expressed her appreciation.
Last year the municipality deployed a social worker to conduct interviews with 25 affected people after the owner sought an eviction order.
"Paradise Park, situated on more or less 22ha of land, just off the R43 in Vermont, was sold in 2017. The buyer has not been able to take full possession of the property because there are still people living in the park and concern was raised about their fate. Not all of the extent of Erf 927 is used for the purposes of the park," read a notice on the municipality website.
- This article has been updated to remove information that the Paradise Park land was sold to the developer by Overstrand Municipality. The seller was a private party. - Editor