They allege that ANC ward councillors encouraged them to invade municipal land in return for votes......
ANGRY residents of Regorogile township outside Thabazimbi, Limpopo, say they have been duped by the ruling party who used them to garner votes.
They allege that in the run-up to the local government elections ANC ward councillors encouraged them to invade municipal land in return for votes.
Some of the residents erected shacks and have vowed that they are "not going anywhere".
Last Thursday, a day after the ANC had retained the Thabazimbi local municipality, residents claimed the municipality officials came out and warned them not to invade the land.
Residents said the ANC councillors had informed them that after they had invaded the land, the municipality would build them RDP houses with basic services.
"I have been on the housing waiting list for three years. Two weeks ago, when the ANC ward councillors informed us at a meeting that we could invade municipal land, I jumped at that opportunity," Joseph Moleya said.
Municipal spokesperson Joshua Motsomane on Friday denied that their ward councillors had urged residents to occupy land.
Another resident, Edwin Tshimenza, said he was surprised by the municipality's response.
"It is a lie that they did not know. We can identify all the people who told us to invade the land.
"Now that we have voted for them they are turning their backs on us," he said.
Many residents, including Naomi Mataboge, said they were not prepared to vacate the land.
While the municipality was locked in a meeting with their leadership, some residents were erecting shacks and others were cutting down trees on what they said were their stands.
Motsomane said the residents' actions were illegal and threatened to take legal action against them.
"That land they are occupying is reserved by the municipality. We can't allow people to occupy land that is not serviced," Motsomane said.
"And if their allegations are true that they had been given permission by our own councillors, we are going to act on such allegations."