House hijack in Oribi

2010-10-23 00:00

A WOMAN’s house was forcefully taken away from her by illegal occupants on Thursday night while she was away visiting a friend.

The incident is the latest in a series of hijackings of houses in Oribi Village.

Debbie Ferier has lived with her three children in Aditi Lane, Oribi, for about a year. On Thursday night, after her electricity was cut off, she went to stay with a friend. “When I returned the following day my house had a new gate, the keys were changed and I was told that I no longer had a place to stay. All my belongings were thrown out of the house.”

She said she called the police, but even though they came, they did nothing to help.

She said many houses in Oribi are occupied illegally as there is a woman who sells the properties unlawfully to people.

“I do not understand why I have been kicked out, because I have a lease agreement from the Housing Department,” said an angry Ferier.

Weekend Witness was alerted by a concerned neighbour who said Oribi Village has become a terrible place to live, where people fear to leave their houses overnight or for holidays.

He said: “If you leave your house, chances are you will come back without a roof over your head because there is a group of people who just break in and forcefully demand that they are now owners of it.”

Those who spoke to Weekend Witness from Oribi all said they suspect that security guards appointed by the human settlement department are working with the hijackers, because they do nothing to help in cases where people have been illegally evicted.

Human settlement spokesperson Reshimee Govender said: “At this stage the department is still investigating this issue to verify the rightful owner of the house.”

She said they will also investigate people who are allegedly selling government-owned houses illegally.

“Appropriate action will be taken against those who are found to be involved in this corruption,” said Govender.

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