Kicked out of house

2017-05-30 06:01
Mother of two Bronwyn Mcdonald has been evicted from a council house where she has lived for the past eight years. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Mother of two Bronwyn Mcdonald has been evicted from a council house where she has lived for the past eight years. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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A mother of two from Diep River is begging the City of Cape Town to put her back into the house she has called home for the last eight years.

Bronwyn Mcdonald and her two children, aged four and seven, were evicted from the council house on Friday 19 May.

Mcdonald claims she has lived there since one of her mother’s neighbours wanted someone to look after him as he was sick and couldn’t stay alone. She went to help just before she gave birth to her first child.

“I helped the man ’til he got back to health. I was paying my rent as well whilst I stayed there with him. We became like family. The man found love and he was going to move out to his new girlfriend. He said he wanted the house to be in my name so that I could stay there with my children. We started with the paperwork,” she says.

Mcdonald says the owner went to Retreat housing office to sign the house over to her.

“The process started just before 2010 and the man went to the housing office where he was given a paper to sign so that he could transfer the house to my name. The man couldn’t read and write and I was not allowed into the room with him. He told them that he wanted to sign over the house to me but instead he was given a paper to sign that he was giving the house back to the City. The officials told him that everything was sorted; it would be in my name.

“There were documents I was asked to submit. We did that so I thought all was in order. The man moved out in 2010.”

To her surprise she started getting messages last year to go to court claiming that she was an illegal tenant.

“I had to follow it up until I got a document that was signed by the man saying he was returning the house to the City. If that was the case – that the man had signed the house back to the City – how come he still got bills for four years? How come I called them out to fix broken stuff in the house and they came? Wasn’t the house supposed to be ­vacant?

“Since then we have been going to court until I was evicted with no alternative accommodation with my children.”

“When the sheriff came, I was crying non-stop. My children saw this and are traumatised. This is a place they called home since they were born.

“City officials are not honest and I feel that the man was tricked. They never explained everything to him,” says Mcdonald.

After the eviction they moved in with her mother and gave family members some of their furniture.

“I’m sleeping on the floor in my mother’s lounge with my children. I can’t sleep there for the rest of my life. I’m not employed and I can’t find other accommodation. They say the council houses are for people who can’t afford but they threw us out: Where do they expect us to go?”V Continued on page 2.

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