The African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg believes city mayor Herman Mashaba is encouraging people to act illegally by promising to rebuild around 80 homes that were demolished in Alexandra township.
Alex township demolition
There is no question the demolished homes were built illegally in Alex, and the demolition was court-ordered, but it has never-the-less caused somewhat of a political storm over the last week.
This is mostly due to the aggressive eviction tactics employed by the Red Ants and the fact that no provision was made for residents whose homes were destroyed.
Several politicians have visited the township in recent days, including Mashaba who told residents his office had no idea the demolition was planned and promised that all of the houses would be rebuilt.
While his announcement received massive cheers from the gathered crowd in Alex, the veracity of his comments was in doubt from the beginning considering the structures were built illegally in the first place.
The Johannesburg ANC have jumped on that fact, claiming Mashaba was just playing politics and that rebuilding the houses would be nothing short of endorsing illegal acts.
“This seemingly virtuous act from the mayor is not only reflective of his glaring inability to lead the city but also the fact that he places political expediency and keeping intact the marriage of convenience between him and his alliance partners over lawfulness and the safety of Joburg residents,” said Johannesburg ANC spokesperson Jolidee Matongo, according to Sowetan Live.
“Woeful as it may be, it is not too shocking to us, as we have always asserted that mayor Mashaba is but a pseudo head of the city.
“He now wants to spend more money on rectifying this costly blunder. It is more concerning that he wants to rebuild the homes on the same illegal land, instead of providing an alternative and more permanent area for occupation.”