11 families evicted from New Hanover farm in rain by new owner

2008-10-23 00:00

ELEVEN families are homeless after they were evicted from the Slavko Vukelic Farm in New Hanover.

One of the evicted people, Bongiwe Mabaso, said they have lived on the farm for more than 10 years and the eviction took them by surprise.

She said they have been engaged in a battle to stay on the farm since 2006. Their lawyer was informed about the eviction earlier this week and has been instructed by the Land Affairs Department to oppose it.

Mabaso said they took their battle to court and after their last lawyer withdrew, they thought the matter had been put on hold and they would be summoned if it surfaced again.

“The new owner came with police and other people and told us to leave the farm because he had been granted a court order to evict us. We had no place to go and when we pleaded that we don’t have alternative accommodation and it’s raining, the police just said we must move out of the farm, destroying our food in the process,” said Mabaso.

Faniseni Mchunu (60) said he had lived on the farm since before New Hanover grew into the town it is today. He said they were evicted in pouring rain and given shelter in the town hall.

He said they are refusing to leave the farm as their family members are buried there.

Association For Rural Advancement (Afra) field worker, Thabo Manyathi, who brought the evictees food, said government has to step in because the eviction order was granted improperly and the owner ignored the plight of the people.

Their lawyer, Aubrey Ngcobo, said he is hoping to oppose the eviction in the Land Claims Court by Monday.

Mshwati municipal manager, Vincent Cebekhulu, said the municipality will continue to house the evictees at the town hall, and consult the Housing Department to establish what can be done to assist them as the municipality does not have houses for them.

Attempts to get comments from the farm owner proved unsuccessful.

thandom@witness.co.za

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