Hundreds of Johannesburg families evicted by ‘Red Ants’

This was a legal eviction… as far as it goes in South Africa

One of our Observers in Johannesburg has filmed a startling sight: trucks full of chanting men in red shirts, some armed with rifles, taking over a block of residential buildings in central Johannesburg and throwing the contents out onto the street. On Tuesday, these dreaded “Red Ants”, as they are called, brutally carried out a court order to evict hundreds of families.

Berea is an impoverished neighbourhood in the heart of Johannesburg, where buildings left abandoned by their owners are routinely hijacked by criminals who then pressure residents to pay them rent. According to court documents as well as residents, that is what happened at the Ridge Hotel in Berea – a former hotel turned into residential buildings, with over 300 units. The owner, despite trying to enlist a private security firm to regain control of his buildings, was unable to dislodge the hijackers and was thus losing out on rent payments. Since it is extremely difficult to dislodge hijackers through legal means, the owners did what is often done in such cases in South Africa: he asked for a court order to evict the buildings’ residents, which is much easier. The residents appealed but lost. That’s when the Red Ants – employees of a private security firm hired by the local court’s sheriff – made their move.

Red Ants Evictions Johannesburg

The Red Ants pointed their rifles up at the building – apparently they were afraid residents might try to throw things at them from their windows. They then proceeded to clear the entrance to the buildings by literally throwing people’s furniture and belongings onto the other side of the street, creating a giant mess. They then went in and took out everything that was left in the apartments.

  • DMB

    Hitler had his brown shirts, Mussolini had his black shirts, Homosexuals have their pink shirts and now blacks have their red shirts. Well at least everyone is getting colour coordinated.

    • This is a for hire group – employed by the Sherrif’s office no less.

      What a country!

  • simus1

    Harks back to the days long ago of private fire fighting companies that either presold basic services to property owners or negotiated their fee when they arrived at the fire. Sometimes rival companies would show up and brawl for the chance to get the owner’s ok.
    Bet the “Red Ants” don’t come cheap. But they get results.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    I’ve just had an idea. Let’s encourage the mass migration of lots of Africans, just like these, into our Western nations. That’ll work out well, I’m sure.

  • Millie_Woods

    How do you get rid of black ants? Red ants of course.