City unit tears down garden fence

2019-09-04 06:01

AN elderly Northdale couple are fuming after members of Msunduzi’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit tore down part of a palisade fence they had erected to preserve a small garden outside their home.

Members of the land invasion unit began tearing down the fence, which was built around the garden right outside the couple’s Bombay Road home about five years ago. Kumarason Pillay (74) said he had tried in vain to formally adopt the spot.

Pillay, who has lived in the home for 47 years, said other houses in the area had extended their homes in a way that encroaches municipal land, but said his fence was not an extension of his own home, but rather just erected to keep stray animals out of the garden.

Pillay said he noticed Msunduzi employees smashing down his fence last week, and complained that he had not been issued a compliance notice from the City that it intended that action.

A few mangled black iron palisade pieces are still at the site. “My wife had just had chemotherapy and was in the back room resting. I was watching TV and heard some noises,” he told The Witness.

“I thought it may have been people building nearby, but the noises got louder.”

He said he confronted Msunduzi staffers and tried to explain that he had tried to adopt the spot. He said they left when he threatened to call the police. Pillay criticised the City for failing to serve him with any compliance notice, and said he has been sent from pillar to post in efforts to adopt the spot. “Eventually, in June, I met someone from Msunduzi who said there is no need for me to have a certificate because I’ve been maintaining the land. And yet they still came to tear it down. “They damaged my property and someone must be held accountable. If there was a problem, they should have given me a letter saying I had 14 or 21 or 30 days to comply,” Pillay said.

“If I’m asked to remove the fence, I will say only on condition that others around this area also comply. Why is only our house being affected?”

He said he will continue trying to engage with Msunduzi to find a way forward.

Msunduzi did not respond to a query.

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