WATCH: Child shot in Land Invasion Unit raid

THE piercing cry of a three-year-old rings out as he is shot with a rubber bullet.

This sound comes from a video taken by the child’s mother during a raid by the Land Invasion Unit in Motala Heights on Saturday, 19 May.

The father of the young boy, Terrance Pillay, said both the Land Invasion Unit and Security Management were on site and tearing down what they thought were illegal homes.

“I have lived on this piece of land for 33 years and have lived in my own home with my wife and child for more than five of them,” said Pillay.

He said the group of men had previously visited the area to remove dwellings built along the sewer line along the river bank near Lot 16.

Despite showing the officials on scene the documents stating the land they have built on is owned by the Essop Mahamoud Trust and is not municipal land, the extension to their home has been broken down and removed twice.

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“A man was ordered to come through and chop down our main gate. My family was standing behind me. We had already told them and showed them the proof that the land we are on is private and we are allowed to build on it, but they continued. I took my phone out to record what they were doing,” said Pillay.

In the video you can hear an official warn Pillay to put his phone away or they would open fire, despite Pillay’s wife and child standing behind him. Shots ring off in the background and his wife shrieks, “there is a child here!” just as their child screams out in pain.

“After the child was shot, they destroyed the extension to our home, packed up and left,” said Pillay.

Neville Shivarja, the PRO for the Motala Heights CPF, said the men were armed with C02 combat pistols and were also carrying rifles and 9mm guns.

“We told the officials to stand down when we (the CPF) arrived at the scene and identified ourselves. They didn’t follow any of the protocol and there was no control over their staff members. It is sad that they have not been able to respond to any of the actual land invasions in the area. They should be held liable and compensate the residents,” said Shivraja.

DA PR Ward 13 and 15 councillor, Marlaine Nair, responded:
I was alerted to the incident and immediately contacted the head of the Land Invasion Unit. I advised members to call in SAPS. While the Democratic Alliance does not support and promote land invasion, we do not support the violation of human rights or violence.

There have been similar complaints that have come to me previously and I have advised complainants to open cases at the nearest police station. I have asked the Land Invasion Unit for a full report of the incident and requested that in the future, SAPS be requested to be present on site when evictions take place so that situations do not escalate out of control.

The Highway Mail is awaiting the full report.

 


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  AUTHOR
Lloyd Mackenzie
Journalist

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