THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has denied burning down the shacks of Motherwell NU29 residents who were illegally occupying land.
But the Peace Village residents, who have been sleeping on the NU11 sports field since their homes were gutted, insist the municipality is responsible.
Human settlement portfolio chairman Fikile Desi said: "The municipality does not burn people's homes. But if you have an illegal structure, we demolish it."
He said the municipality was acting on a court order.
Desi said the municipality was entitled to destroy any building material to prevent people from illegally occupying land.
Asked why the municipality did not provide the residents with temporary housing, Desi said: "If we accommodate them then we would be taking responsibility for them. They knew they were illegally occupying that land."
Community leader Siphiwo Dayimani said the residents now had nowhere to go.
"Some were still at work when their homes were destroyed... they lost everything."
Police earlier denied that they had any involvement in burning down the houses saying they were there to provide security for metro officials.