The military veterans who started occupying land on the Tsineng road near the R31 in Kuruman claimed that they were shot at by private security officials.
THE MILITARY veterans who started occupying land on the Tsineng road near the R31 in Kuruman claimed that they were shot at by private security officials on Thursday morning.
A group of about 200 military veterans have started to build shacks on the land, since Sunday, after they claimed that land that was allocated to them by way of a council resolution in 2013 was sold to a private housing developer.
The chairperson of the military veterans in the Northern Cape, Edwin Martins Mogatle, said that one member was injured after private security opened fire on them at around 3am yesterday.
“We are vulnerable and unarmed and no attempts have been made to resolve the matter amicably. We do not know who hired the security but they have been here since the early hours of the morning and they have not left,” said Mogatle.
He insisted that the military veterans would not leave, despite attempts to evict them.
“The 50 odd shacks that were erected are still there and we are still on site. We are not going anywhere.”
Mogatle stated that they were waiting for their advocate to advise them on what legal steps could be pursued.
“We are prepared to fight the legality of the eviction and the ownership of the land in the highest court of the land. I am trying my best to prevent members from retaliating but at some point things will spiral beyond my control.”
The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs, Lerato Khunou, confirmed that in 2017 the Department of Human Settlement had committed to prioritising the allocation of houses for military veterans and the elderly over the next five years.
“As a result, the department funded the township establishment of 200 erven in Kuruman, of which only 20 erven were allocated for the military veterans. The rest was for the project development of the Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality. Furthermore, due to the delay of the B4 certificate, which can only be issued after the conclusion of the dolomitic investigation, the department requested the Ga-Segonyana Municipality to accommodate the military veterans on the erven close to the prison. In return, the municipality will be able to retain the erven for its own use,” said Khunou.
The military veterans have, however, rejected the alternative land that was identified for settlement and stated that they are still awaiting the report on the composition of the soil on the site that they are currently occupying.