Candidate ‘stole house’

2011-05-16 00:00

THE ANC candidate for Copesville (ward 29), Thandi Ndlovu, is the illegal occupant of a house in the suburb. She is also alleged to be stealing electricity after the Msunduzi Muncipality removed the meter box.

According to court papers, Ndlovu is the illegal occupier of a house at 7 Malachite Place.

The papers show that initially the legal owner, pensioner Rajkumarie Gunga, won an eviction order in court against a family member who refused to move out of her house.

When the sheriff went to carry out the order they found Ndlovu in occupation. She claimed she had bought the house.

Gunga as the legal owner had not sold the house to anyone so the warrant of ejection stood.

In September 2009 Ndlovu went to court and applied for the warrant of ejection to be set aside. Ndlovu’s application was dismissed. She had claimed to have bought the house from Gunga’s relative. There was no proof of payment and according to KZN Housing Department records the deed of sale remains in Gunga’s name. Ndlovu was ordered to move out and pay Gunga’s costs.

When she failed to move out, the eviction order was invoked. In March 2010 the sheriff went in and removed Ndlovu’s goods from the house, changed the locks and posted a security guard outside. Residents in the area allege that the security guard was chased away. The locks were broken and Ndlovu resumed occupation of the house. Currently Ndlovu’s children live in the house while she has moved back to the Copesville informal settlement, Pakkies. Residents also allege that while Ndlovu’s family was in occupation, members of the municipality’s Operation Pitbull removed the meter box because of alleged tampering.

When The Witness visited the house the curtains were drawn and the gate was locked. The space where the electricity meter box had been removed was visible from the street.

Most residents who live in the area have long been aware of the situation. They say they were shocked when Ndlovu was chosen as a candidate.

ANC members claim that Ndlovu was a candidate imposed on them by the regional executive committee and was not of their choosing.

The disgruntled members instead chose Penny Zondi from within their ranks to stand as an independent candidate.

When contacted last week Ndlovu denied that she was the person illegally occupying the Malachite Place house. She said she would contact The Witness with her lawyer. An SMS was sent to her with the physical address of the newspaper and contact details for the reporter. She did not respond. When she failed to answer her phone on Friday a second SMS was sent to her asking for her side of the story. No response was recieved.

Gunga could not be contacted. Accordng to residents who know her, she moves around living with friends and relatives. She visits the area from time to time to look at her house, but has no more money to go to court or to pay the fees for another warrant of ejection.

An e-mail about Ndlovu’s illegal occupation was sent to the ANC. Residents are hopeful that the situation will be addressed following President Jacob Zuma’s undertaking that candidates who are found to be unfit will be replaced after the election.

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