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Independent investigators begin work on Empolweni Land invasion matter<p>This follows Executive Mayor Alderman Dan Plato’s request for an independent investigation ‘to ensure the findings are above reproach, given the public interest in the matter’.</p><p>All video and photographic evidence has been handed over to investigators, who will further conduct their own interviews regarding the incident between Law Enforcement officials and Mr Bulelani Qolani.</p><p>Video footage filmed by law enforcement officials contains new perspectives not visible in the public viral video.<br>This includes footage showing Mr Qolani clothed and standing outside during the operation to remove five illegal structures on Wednesday, 1 July 2020. Mr Qolani looks directly into the camera, as Law Enforcement officials are heard dismantling illegal structures. This indicates Mr Qolani was not bathing as claimed.<br>Footage further shows Mr Qolani walking out of a structure unclothed. He does this without prompting, and without any Law Enforcement official near him. </p><p>Mr Qolani then proceeds to pace up and down outside the structure naked, apparently as a taunt, fully exposing himself to onlookers. This occurred prior to the incident with Law Enforcement officials.</p><p>‘There is a video taken by a Law Enforcement official, precisely so we could have evidence in the case of allegations. And Mr Qolani is visible, clothed, standing outside during the operation to remove five illegal structures. The City really does not tolerate the loss of dignity that occurred. However, footage shows Mr Qolani comes out of the structure naked without any Law Enforcement official near him. He does it independently, holding a piece of paper in his hand,’ said Mayco member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith briefing a virtual sitting of the National Assembly’s Cooperative Governance portfolio committee.</p><p>In terms of a High Court order, the City of Cape Town is permitted to remove any new illegally erected structures on the land in question. </p><p>This is besides 49 structures which the court allowed to remain on the land in Empolweni temporarily until the matter is heard in full. Mr Qolani’s name is not on the court’s list of permitted structures.</p><p>‘No eviction has been conducted on this site, only anti-land invasion operations. Mr Qolani could not possibly have been living there as he claims, given that Law Enforcement has been conducting near daily anti-land invasion operations at the site, said Mayco Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi.</p><p>Invaded land jeopardising R162 million water pipeline to Khayelitsha</p><p>Empolweni land invasions are on the direct pathway of a R162 million water pipeline project crucial to Khayelitsha as a whole. New housing developments will further rely on critical bulk service infrastructure such as this project.</p><p>The water supply pipeline will increase water pressure for around 11 000 Enkanini residents, and provide assurance of supply to the whole of Khayelitsha. </p><p>‘The City has already installed 1,4km of this 6km pipeline from Faure to Khayelitsha, along Baden Powell Drive. Over R50 million of the budget has already been spent, and we are on track for completion in 12–18 months. But anti-land invasion operations along the route are crucial to ensuring no further interruptions,’ said Mayco Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg.</p><p>Protests related to the illegal Empolweni invasion have further led to damaged Infrastructure at the adjacent Zandvliet Waste Water Treatment plant, where a R1,7 billion upgrade is underway.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2020-07-05T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|StatementsGP0|#d368d2c2-af0c-4605-8ff2-9b580dbe4bf8;L0|#0d368d2c2-af0c-4605-8ff2-9b580dbe4bf8|illegal occupancy;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#29c1487e-1c77-4950-afc1-136cce225109;L0|#029c1487e-1c77-4950-afc1-136cce225109|khayalitsha;GP0|#4bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec;L0|#04bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec|law enforcement1

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