Family faces eviction

2018-01-23 06:00
Firdaus Benn and Roeghshanda Pascoe PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

Firdaus Benn and Roeghshanda Pascoe PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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A single mother from Manenberg is desperately calling on the City of Cape Town to reconsider an eviction order for the sake of her children. Firdaus Benn (29) single-handily cares for her three children, two of whom have epilepsy and autism.

Benn previously lived with her mother in a rented Wendy house in Pam Walk but was forced to move out when doctors suggested she move into a better space with her sick children.

Local community activist and chairperson of Manenberg Safety Forum, Roeghsanda Pascoe, says the unemployed mother was then placed in a home in the same street which is known to have previously been a hot spot for drug activities.

“There was an empty house were the drug addicts and gangs used to do their drug trafficking. The City never bothered with this house before and never removed anyone from it previously. These so called gangsters who used that property for their dealings had opened that home and space for Firdaus and her children, keeping in mind that doctors wanted her to be in a safe space with them. The City then came to evict them from that home as well, this is after neighbours went to complain at the housing offices that she moved in illegally,” explains Pascoe.

In addition, Benn’s mother, who still resides at the same Wendy house, has also been served with an eviction order from the City after the owners of the property died.

Pascoe who has been in and out of court with Benn since day one says the family has no other home to go to. “I call on media to assist me on this, mainly because of the children. They are currently still in the house with the City and eviction order hanging on their head, wanting them to move out. The mayor and housing department is avoiding our call. It is almost four years now.”

She says her call for the people of Manenberg is to at least defend the rights of the needy children. “It is their human right to have a roof over their heads. They are vulnerable children because they are not well. The City should also award this struggling family with a bigger house where Benn’s mother can help her look after the children,” she adds.

Benn says she receives no support from her children’s father. “I try to bring in money by selling toffee apples. I can’t work because my children need me around them 24/7. My eldest daughter is eight-years-old and can’t walk. She needs to be fed and is currently on the nappy. She gets up to 20 seizures a day. My youngest son of three also has epilepsy and I fear for the worst if both should get a siezure at the same time.

“I hope the City can make things easier for us. Other than the house, we have challenges with transport to hospitals and school as well. School fees, food, nappies and lots more fill our list of struggle. The only money I get is from Sassa for my eldest daughter and this only last us about a week.”

Pascoe urges the community and the City to come on board to assist the family. “If the City wants to evict them they must get a decent space for this family and consider the conditions of these children, and not move them into a place like Blikkiesdorp. I have written to the City numerous times, but instead of helping this needy family they went and spent money to take this young mother to court. I will fight for this family and will not leave the situation like this,” she says.

“If there is any body that can help the family, even with transport to be able to go to hospital it will help a lot. I want to be there for everyone but unable to see to the needs that everyone has. Let’s help this mother who did not take drugs or alcohol as an alternative, but stood by her kids against all odds.”

Meanwhile, the City says their Tenancy Management Department is currently investigating the matter and a decision will be taken once all the necessary information has been collated.

V If you would like to donate towards the family please call Roeghshanda Pascoe on 071 436 1504.

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