Tense standoff as U’hage informal settlement residents resist removal

Pandemonium broke out in Uitenhage’s Tiryville informal settlement – also known as Lapland – early yesterday when throngs of police vehicles and tow trucks entered the area to demolish the shacks of about 450 families.

Residents had been burning tyres, mattresses and rubbish bags since Monday night in a bid to barricade the roads at the corner of Lovebird and Kamesh avenues.

When the police arrived with the sheriff of the court at about 6am yesterday to act on a May court order to break down the shacks if the residents did not leave within six months, the crowd refused to clear the way and police eventually fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

-Rochelle de Kock and Yoliswa Sobuwa 

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