Vision Tactical – which is the company working with ER24 to assist residents in Alexandra, said the baby trapped inside one of the houses that were demolished earlier had been rescued while the City of Johannesburg has launched an investigation into the demolition operation.
Around 80 structures were destroyed in the township on Friday, sparking unrest in the region.
The residents of Marlboro informal settlement have been accused of erecting their houses next to the Juskei River illegally.
Vision Tactical’s Yaseem Theba said all residents who had been trapped in the rubble had been freed.
“ER24 called us to come and asked for tactical assist to extract all the patients who had minor smoke inhalation, among them was a five-month-old baby, and we transported them out of the area with the police helping us to cordon off the area,” Theba said.
Meanwhile, police have denied claims a baby was trapped under the rubble of one of the demolished shacks.
“It’s not true because when these people were here in the morning, the community members were standing on the side and no one was crying about a baby. But when the police and the Red Ants left, they now come with an allegation of the baby [being trapped],” the police’s Kay Makhubele said.
‘EVICTION PROCESS NOT FOLLOWED’
The City of Johannesburg said the process of evicting those residents in Alexandra had not been properly followed.
It said it only came to know about the demolition operation between police, the Red Ants and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department on Friday.
The city said it had ordered an investigation to determine who authorised the operation and whether it was conducted within the ambit of the law.
It said the evidence it had showed that due process was not followed.
Residents said they were not given notice about the plans before being forcibly removed from the area.
The city said it was in the process of ensuring that those affected by the operation were provided with relief.
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