Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Land protest shuts down N2 on Garden Route

Protesters on Monday closed the N2 outside Mossel Bay for more than five hours, when a long-simmering land dispute erupted in dawn violence that left three people injured. Mossel Bay police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to keep the freeway open soon after a 150-strong protest began at 4am...

"Every election they promise us electricity, land and housing. After every election they disappear," said Stephen Booysen, a building subcontractor and the community's leader.

When the shack dwellers offered to move onto higher municipal land near by, an environmental impact study was ordered by the mayor's office, which reported that a rare type of spider lived on the land in question, prompting fury among the community and "Less than Spiders" local headlines.

"We're not going anywhere," said Lena Williams, of the Power Town residents committee. "This is like old South Africa. If they want old South Africa they will get it. They will see tyres burning here. Cape Times

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