#Jeppestown raid targeted ‘criminal elements’ of xenophobic attacks

The raid on Jeppestown Men’s Hostel Tuesday night was about the ‘criminal elements’ from the xenophobic attacks in the area. 11 suspects were arrested.

SAPS provinicial spokesperson Lt Kay Makhubela explained that the police seized stolen goods, ‘believed to may have’ come from lootings.

Reports have also mentioned large amounts of dagga received.

SANDF spokesperson Xolani Mabanga wouldn’t comment on who carried out or led the raid, saying only that ‘the military is in support of the SAPS’.

Makhubela clarified that the police moved in, while the military secured the perimeter: ‘Military backs up while police do their job.’

Further questioning to Lt Makhubela didn’t establish direct links betwern the raid and the overall violence against non-South Africans. When asked if raid was legal and the police had a court order: “… The police have the right to enter premises, when they see an immediate threat, for a raid without a search warrant. ”

There were related reports Tuesday that journalists were forced by police to delete photos taken around the hostel. Makhubela declined to confirm whether orders were given to officers to do so. He added that it’s not ‘illegal’ for journos and photographers to take photos as part of their jobs. He invited affected members of the press to open a case against the offending officer.

[Updated] Understanding the #JeppeProtest and Jeppestown evictions

Updated 11:50am 24 March 2015:

This past Wednesday, an unauthorized march formed close to Jeppe Men’s Hostel in Jeppestown, downtown Johannesburg, after eviction orders were issued to residents. A local youth empowerment organization Umuzi Photo Club reported that residents in the area felt aggrieved and ignored by the City of Johannesburg and the local ANC ward councillor, after it was revealed that property developers acquired old buildings without their consultation.

Residents feel economic development moving into nearby Maboneng Precinct and other urban regeneration projects, and little happening in their communities.

The following charts can shed some light on Jeppestown as a whole:

Maboneng, owned by Propertuity, quickly became the object of attack, although it was not clear at that point whether they are the developers behind the recent acquisitions.

Police were alerted to the march and violence gave way when tensions flared:

From media reports, it is still not clear which buildings have been affected by the acquisitions. The update from SABC reporter Manqoba Mchunu (cited above, Situation remains tense in Jeppestown) on Wednesday made the first explicit mention of the property developer EGC Properties, a fact that wasn’t picked up in articles by Daily Maverick, EWN, and CityPress.

Residents who live in the area mentioned that nine to 10 buildings were served notices, while City of Johannesburg confirmed that only three to their knowledge have been affected. This is from today’s The Khonza Show on CliffCentral, where it was also stated that the evictions are set to go ahead on 24 March.

A video published on Thursday reported that despite the 24 March deadline, evictions had already started:

Deep in South Africa did contact Propertuity for clarification. The company refused to comment on the protests and the tensions with Jeppestown residents, but they confirmed the addresses of their upcoming developments. In light of another developer being named by reports, it is unclear why they have appeared to be defensive and refrain from commenting.

Further to EGC Properties, it has been revealed that another developer, Dryden Projects Construction, have been linked to EGC and the forced evictions. Deep in South Africa has confirmed that EGC Properties is a subsidiary of Dryden Projects.

Below is a map of all developments owned or carried out by Propertuity and Dryden.

Errata: All instances of ECG Properties was changed to EGC Properties.

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