Anger over Lenasia demolitions

2012-11-09 15:38

Johannesburg - Neighbours of Lenasia residents whose houses were targeted for demolition on Friday were angry about the housing department's actions.

"Why can't the government give these people monetary penalties if they build illegally on the government land?" said Patrica Mangena.

Earlier, police had to drag a woman holding her child screaming out of her house after it had been identified as one built illegally and therefore earmarked to be demolished.

At another house, bulldozers broke the wall of the yard in the owner's absence.

When she arrived, she shouted: "Who broke my wall? They are going to [re]build it, by fire, by force."

Documents for house

She continued: "I have documents for this house. I stayed here for more than 10 years. This house was on auction."

Other residents shouted: "This woman has a document for this house. This house is not part of corruption."

The Gauteng housing department said it had identified 113 houses in the area, which it said were illegally built on land intended for government houses.

"Investigations by the department's anti-fraud and corruption unit revealed that fraudsters sold several stands [for amounts] ranging from R2 500 to R95 000, and issued buyers with fraudulent deeds of sale which bore the department's official logo," it said in a statement on Thursday.
Thirty-seven houses were destroyed on Thursday.

Spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said the owners would not be compensated for their losses.


As police and bulldozers moved through the area, some residents said their houses were on the list to be demolished, but they were not given notice as the housing department claimed.

In response, Motlhaolwa said: "They know nothing."

He said where houses contained furniture, only the walls were broken as a warning to residents to vacate the houses or to demolish them themselves.

"We [have] even given them a chance to demolish the houses built illegally themselves, so that they can even pack their bricks, their windows, and doors."

He said they should also remove their furniture.

"Then we will come with the Red Ants if that is not happening," he said, referring to an eviction company whose employees wear red overalls.


Another resident said they were the victims of fraudsters.

Sam Mfupa said so far he had spent about R250 000 to build his house.

"We can't be victims of con artists from the housing department. The government must arrest these people who sold us this land," he said.

Motlhaolwa said residents were told not to build houses on the land in 2006 and that a court order was obtained to stop them from building, but a syndicate had convinced them otherwise.


He said three members of the syndicate were arrested for fraud in 2009 and had since been jailed.

"They forged the [head of department's] signature and used [the] department's letterhead," he said.

Investigations were continuing and more arrests could be made.

Earlier, residents in Lenasia Extension 13 barricaded roads and set tyres on fire in protest over the demolition, said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.

He said no one had been arrested or injured.

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-11-09 15:45

    Its a shame that the people you voted into power are too busy spending money on their own houses to give a damn about where you sleep tonight. Next time they bring you a t-shirt and cap and ask you to make a cross on a piece of paper with lots of faces on it, think long about where you put that cross.

  • keith.recore - 2012-11-09 15:52

    somehow, someway if some of those people who built those houses were truly swindled, there is a better way to deal with this issue in a more compassionate way, thus the municipality gets its land back and those people could be assisted with finding proper temporary housing at worse and a path to permanent housing at best. This method described simply can't be the best and ony approach to dealing with citizens for one reason or another were victims of fraud and now not only have lost their only home but money they will never see again

  • zahir786 - 2012-11-09 16:35

    R1.4 Billion for the Ministers home , Over 248 million for Zuma Private home and The pavement for you ! lOl What an amazing country we live in .

  • - 2012-11-09 16:42

    You voted for this Government and this is how you get repaid on all the empty ANC promises. While Zuma is staying in his fancy house worth over R 200 million, your little house gets broken down. Your ANC Government is only there to enrich themselves and really do no give a dam about the guy on the street. So keep on voting for the ANC and see where you end up.

  • TshilidziPhuravhathu - 2012-11-09 16:50

    I recall Mr Mandela saying something along the lines of "South Africa belongs to all who live in it." not the Government...

  • customdesign - 2012-11-09 16:51

    Being right by law does not necessarily mean you are doing the right thing as a human being- there should have been a better way to deal with this. We should not be demolishing homes in a country where so many are homeless. I understand the officials frustration, but where are these people going to go?

      carlyle.labuschagne - 2012-11-09 17:09

      Agreed, surely some kind of agreement could have been reached with these poor people as the ground was earmarked for goverment housing anaway, looking at some of these pictures is very disturbing!!

      vuyisan - 2012-11-11 09:33

      it doesn't make sense, they could have resold it legally to this people

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-09 17:04

    Sorry but of late I feel rocks, next election who do you think will be in power. Same sh&i different day

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-09 17:10

    And the anc takes more homes away from its people...

      aristar.aristary - 2012-11-10 07:03

      These people should go and camp on Mr Sex wale's doorstep or possibly Mr Zuma's Nkandla home.

  • marilyn.glockle - 2012-11-09 17:17

    Yet another fraud in here somewhere!

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-09 17:36

    Wake up and smell the corruption,injustice and "dont care" attitude each and every average working class Joe in this country has to put up with. How many more must be murfered,swindeled,robbed,sit without a job,die because of poor health care,before you decide to vote for somebody who actually gives a damn?? Every election we see the same voters vote the same corruption back,6 months down the line those very voters are wailing about injustice! If you want a difference-it lies in your own hands!

  • JohnDough - 2012-11-09 17:39

    Viva cANCer, Viva - Not! Now lets see if these sheeple vote once again for the ANC.

      aristar.aristary - 2012-11-10 07:07

      Promises, promises! Who can live on promises?

  • lee.brand.73 - 2012-11-09 18:15

    The cANCcer knows no bounds...\r\n\r\nYou have not looked at the individual cases you IGNORANT , CORRUPT AND ARROGANT SAVAGES. \r\n\r\nYour turn will come. \let them eat cake\. Where are all the rabid cancer supporters now? I dont see any comments?\r\n\r\nPutrid, supurating, evil, geedy thieves who upgrade houses for themselves for billion rand??????

  • makarapakaplan - 2012-11-09 18:23

    But the majority will vote ANC again come this election !

  • robert.c.porter.1 - 2012-11-09 18:32

    Vote for change.. Vote DA.

  • simthembile.lizwi - 2012-11-09 21:19

    No ways....these people we call our leaders are not human beings... This cannot be allowed to go on. It is time we vote with sober minds next time around

      jackie.white.94064 - 2012-11-10 08:27

      I totally agree with you, It's disgusting what the anc has done here!! The thing is this land was just standing empty (for how long) and would probably still be empty unused land if these houses weren't built there. These people are also just trying to provide a home for their families. It's all about money!!!

  • aristar.aristary - 2012-11-10 06:45

    This woman should go and squat on Mr Sexwale's front lawn. Or possible Mr Zuma's in Nkandla. It is typical of this government. It smacks of the previous regime's forced removals. I wonder if we can forcibly remove Mr Zuma. My ideal Christmas present would be for Leon Schuster to give the Eulogy at Mr Zuma's, Mr Mugabe and Mr Malema's funeral.

  • jackie.white.94064 - 2012-11-10 08:22

    It's disgusting the way these people were dealt with, they are alsdo just trying to provide a home for their families. One doesn't just go in an demolish a persons home. This is barbaric and disgusting!! If it was illegal housing then find out the root of the corruption etc. Typical ANC tactics and this is what the people voted for mmmm.....

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-11-10 08:30

    Where are the scoundrels that sold the land???? What is happening about their involvement Or will they just be suspended on full pay?

  • linda.j.simone - 2012-11-11 19:12

    I am absolutely horrified and speechless at the horrific behaviour of government in this situation! Surely there could have been a more mutually beneficial solution to this issue? Could they not have built the government housing around the existing houses and made an arrangement with those who had built "illegally", as the action of building there was as a result of the illegal actions of a third party and not the home-owners themselves? Horrified! How is it that a governemtn that claims to be "for the people" treat its own in this manner? Shame on you ANC government!

  • Tsele Thabang Kanono - 2012-11-13 17:55

    Good job, government of the people. you guys always has a brilliant way of solving problems. Remember: Andries Tatane, Sharpeville day, Marikana massacre and now this. what's next?

  • pages:
  • 1