Former SA Rugby boss and family homeless

By Drum Digital
16 December 2016

Former SA Rugby Football Union president Silas Nkanunu and his family who enjoyed rent-free accommodation in an affluent suburb in Port Elizabeth for more than a decade have been kicked out of the premises.

By Aphiwe Boyce

This came after a successful eviction application against Nkanunu and his wife, Bukelwa Mengezelezi brought to the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).  In his judgement, Judge Clive Plasket concluded that Nkanunu and his family were unlawful occupiers of two units in Markman.

The couple have occupied these units since 2003. The court heard that they stayed there because they were part of the construction village.  This was to accommodate people employed in the construction of the port of Coega and the adjacent Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).

It is said that on 28 August 2003, the CDC entered into a management agreement with Eurest Support Services Coega (Pty) Ltd (ESS Coega) in which the company  would manage the Wells Estate construction village.   The couple are the directors of this contractor. This agreement was valid four years and was terminated on 1 September 2007.

Despite that, ESS Coega continued with the services. But CDC cancelled it in 2009. They entered into new lease agreements which would be valid for six months with an option to renew for a further six month period.

It was agreed Nkanunu would pay R3 000 monthly per unit but he never signed it.  This expired on 2010, but the couple remained in both units. CDC employee Ridwaan Davids stated that another unit was occupied by unknown people, through the couple.

CDC’s attorneys demanded they vacate the units on or before 31 March 2016 But Mengezeleli claimed an entitlement to occupy the units based on “a contract of employment” with CDC but the judge dismissed that. He ruled that Nkanunu and his family must vacate the premises by 13 January 2017 and will consider authorising the sheriff to evict them on 20 January.

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