Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba, claims a syndicate is behind the illegal land occupations in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.
The mayor alleges that the land occupations are orchestrated by a local councilor and the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO).
Lenasia residents living in bonded houses are against the occupations saying they’re devaluing their properties.
At the weekend, Gauteng MECs visited the area to call for calm after violent protests erupted. Mashaba says he has approached the police to investigate.
Mayoral spokesperson, Luyanda Mfeka, says the mayor has been shown evidence of monies being exchanged between members of the syndicates and those willing to pay for a piece of land:
“A criminal syndicate essentially operates within the Lenasia area and that is responsible for much of the unrest but also more importantly for illegal activities such as the illegal occupation of land within that area. The local residents also provided evidence that the local councilor was involved in this.”