Mariental squatters vow to stayBy: LUQMAN CLOETE
HUNDREDS of people illegally occupying town land at Mariental have vowed not to be “intimidated” by threats of evictions.
In response to warnings by the town council’s acting chief executive officer, Cathy Boois, that their shacks would be demolished if they don’t leave the land they invaded in May, the squatters said they won’t move an inch.
“We’ll only move if the council allocates plots to us. Our ancestors fought for the land and we voted to be given land, now they [council] want to take it away,” said the squatters’ spokesman, Jacobus de Klerk.
“We’re tired of backyard renting. It is not a solution to address the residents’ housing needs.” De Klerk said.
“We’ll not move, even if our valuable furniture gets damaged during the process of forceful eviction,” De Klerk added.
De Klerk said close to 400 people have erected structures on the land they have seized illegally.
Boois said the council would turn to the courts to have the squatters removed if they defy eviction orders. She said the squatters know that their actions are illegal.
She urged people to approach the council with their housing needs.
“Ask for land. But if it is not available it does not give anyone the right to grab land illegally.”
The Namibian was reliably informed that the council obtained 128 eviction orders issued by the High Court, but they have not been served on the squatters yet.
Boois would not comment on the eviction orders.