Nelson Mandela Bay leader Athol Trollip has pummeled the “illicit and furnished SANDF control of City Hall square” when five military vehicles dumped couches‚ clothing baskets‚ a refrigerator and toys there after occupants were removed from the Forest Hill armed force base.
Chief whip Werner Senekal said in a statement on Friday that 30 “armed‚ aggressive and confrontational” soldiers had illegally occupied Vuyisile Mini Square in front of City Hall and dumped the furniture. They told him that the eviction was illegal.
Trollip described the action as an “undemocratic act of hooliganism”.
“Worse still‚ many soldiers were armed with assault rifles‚ fingers poised on triggers‚ loaded with full magazines. Upon departure‚ the soldiers proceeded to ram into and cause damage to a municipal vehicle and a small child was also pushed out the way by a senior soldier.”
Senekal said the group’s leader indicated they had received an instruction “from Pretoria” to occupy the square. He added that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had denied any knowledge of this situation.
Senekal said the municipality was seeking an urgent court interdict against the SANDF because members said they would return with more furniture. They would also instruct lawyers to get an order against the SANDF to remove the furniture left behind at the City Hall.
A criminal case for malicious damage to property‚ illegal dumping‚ intimidation and trespassing will also be opened.