Metro Police officials forcibly removed about 30 Joe Slovo informal settlement residents who invaded eight flats of the N2 Gateway Project following a fire that left about 200 people homeless in the area yesterday.
In total, 83 flats were damaged after doors were broken and
windows smashed during an attempt by the fire victims to put their belongings in a safe place, according to authorities.
Metro Police spokesman, Kevin Maxwell, said no one had been arrested.
"We were called out just before 6am. It was the fire firstly, and secondly it was the occupation and damage of units. That's when we responded. People were breaking in doors. Our staff were assigned and prevented others (from causing more damage)," said Maxwell.
There were reports that the fire was started deliberately by the squatters so they could move into the houses.
"We just want to appeal to the community, particularly in informal settlements, not leave paraffin stoves unattended. We believe the cause of the fire is a paraffin stove left unattended, but that's not confirmed yet," said Solomons.
He added that the situation took a political turn when members of the community demanded to see former mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo and Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.