Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba says the instruction to demolish illegal structures in Alexandra didn't come from his office.
Last week, chaos erupted after the Red Ants destroyed homes in Johannesburg's Marlboro Gardens, leaving many people homeless.
Mashaba speaks to Bongani Bingwa about who gave the order.
The instruction came from JMPD and not my office. My office's responsibility is just to be informed. I don't have the authority to issue instructions to demolish or not demolish. What I did is request the administration to bring all court orders to my attention because evictions of poor people have political ramifications.— Herman Mashaba, Mayor - City of Johannesburg
The Joburg mayor says he was not made aware of the decision.
I am taking charge of the situation to make sure that there are consequences for those people who decided to demolish without bringing it to my attention; this is unacceptable. Housing is a massive challenge in our society.— Herman Mashaba, Mayor - City of Johannesburg
He says when he took over as the mayor, he passed a resolution never to use the Red Ants against anyone.
In this particular case, the JMPD leadership, when I was out of the country decided to use the services of the Red Ants, and this matter is under investigation.— Herman Mashaba, Mayor - City of Johannesburg
Mashaba adds that even though the structures were illegal, the way they were removed was done incorrectly.
The City will find alternative accommodation for the displaced residents, he concludes.
Listen below to the full interview: