RESIDENTS of Hlalamnandi squatter camp in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, have nowhere to lay their heads after their shacks were demolished last Tuesday.They claimed Steve Tshwete Municipality instructed the Red Ants to destroy their houses.Some residents said although the community was warned in advance, residents didn’t have enough time to find alternative accommodation.Resident Jabu Maseko said they erected tents after the eviction.“We are struggling. There’s no water, so you can imagine how hard it is to prepare for work in the morning,” he said. “Mums are having a hard time getting their kids ready for school, all because the municipality doesn’t care about us.”A JoJo tank was brought in to supply the residents with drinking water, but it runs dry quickly.Another resident said the community was worried about the severe storms that were forecast by the South African Weather Service.Municipal spokeswoman Prudence Magutle denied the residents’ claims.She said the municipality wasn’t responsible for the eviction as the land was privately owned.Magutle said the court ordered the illegal occupants to leave the area. Provincial EFF chairman Collen Sedibe described the eviction as a disgrace and said it shouldn’t have happened in a democratic South Africa led by the ANC.He said it was heartbreaking to see children miss school because their clothes and books were destroyed.Sedibe visited the area after the eviction and said: “These families have been living here for more than 15 years. “All their belongings were destroyed. So was their church.“Now the families live in tents provided for by a Good Samaritan.“When they sleep, they’re packed into the tents like sardines.”
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