Court halts Lenasia demolitions - SAHRC

2012-11-12 13:01

Johannesburg - A court order halted the demolition of houses in Lenasia illegally erected on land owned by the City of Johannesburg on Monday, the SA Human Rights Commission said.

Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the South Gauteng High Court granted the commission's application, and suspended the demolitions for at least 24 hours.

"The court is also granting the department an opportunity to respond to the commission's application which will be heard on Tuesday," he said.

Time to consult

The Gauteng department of local government and housing began destroying houses last Thursday and Friday as the land they had been built on was meant for government housing.

About 50 houses had been destroyed so far and another 113 were yet to be demolished. Fraudsters had apparently sold plots of the land, giving buyers forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

The department defended the demolitions and said it was acting in line with the law.

On Monday residents blockaded a road leading into Lenasia with rocks and burning tyres, protesting against the demolitions. Police watched from two armoured vehicles.

Many of the protesters wore African National Congress, SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and Congress of SA Trade Union (Cosatu) T-shirts.

Mangena said the judge presiding over the matter asked that the commission conduct a poll to determine how many people would be affected by the demolitions, and how many houses had been, and would be, destroyed. "This gives us time to consult with the residents to establish factual evidence that may be of assistance to all parties in this matter," he said.

  • john.turner.58760608 - 2012-11-12 13:11

    If these people were squatters invading the land, I would tend to agree with the demolitions. Unforunately these people have been crime victims by the fraudsters.This victims with their lack of education made the fraudsters job that much easier. I think a bit of thought and compassion should have gone on before the mass demolitions, but then we are dealing with the ANC who do not give a damn about the common man.

      VWhitepaw - 2012-11-12 13:24

      Normally, there would be countless notifications about this. Normally for something like a year this would have been going on. Apparently it was all ignored before the court order to evict and demolition. Then again, maybe the notifications was thrown over a fence.

      heinrich.spreeth - 2012-11-12 13:26

      there are SO much illegal squatters in SA, It seems a bit unfair that these people get there houses demolished but many other don't. They must decide to either have the same demolishing law for everybody or "ignore" everybody. Some consistency please! OR is this the start of 1000000000000's of shacks also to be demolished and the building of government housing?

      hendrik.verwoerd.14 - 2012-11-12 13:41

      What I find ironic is that whenever common people are left destitute & in need, there no sign of a politician anywhere, & that goes for all parties, no ANC, DA, IFP, FF or Cope mentioned?? Why doesn't Helen Zille come & protest with these people or does the DA only get involved when it affects the economic "middle & upper" class?? ANC, where is Tokyo Sexwale, isn't this his portfolio??

      aspruyt - 2012-11-12 13:48

      Sub par troll (Hendrik).

      abrie.burger - 2012-11-12 13:50

      @hendrik.verwoerd. For once I agree with you. Where are the polititians when you really need them? I feel sorry for these people, but I can't even build on my own stand without proper plans, why should these people be allowed to? I have to pay thousands for plans and approvals and endure Kms of red tape to get alterations approved. Why are some people allowed to simply build houses wherever they want to?

      bosveld.reaper - 2012-11-12 14:07

      And they have papers stamped by the department of home affairs? WTF? Where are the real ANC comrades who are responsible for this mess? Hiding in there Sandton mansions behind 12 foot walls in the fully pimped out bunkers perhaps?

      morne.demeillon - 2012-11-12 14:09

      Tokyo Sexwale, has too many businesses to run, he has no time to short out our countries problems!!!

      desmond.drake.1 - 2012-11-12 15:32

      Same situation in the town where I stay. Unfortunately these squaters are not the victims of crime but perpetrtaors of crime. Most of them are not even South African citizens.

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2012-11-12 17:36

      Deja vu a la Zimbabwe

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-12 13:18

    While the houses might be illegal the council have been negotiating for at least 2 yrs. Now the following questions must be asked of the council: Why have they provided water,lights and services if illegal houses Where are the signed off drawings for the plans of the houses built? Where are the title deeds for these hoses and if there are any with banks how did bonds get approved with illegal sites and no building plans?? I cannot build any extension without approval and having the property valued??

      heinrich.spreeth - 2012-11-12 13:27

      Agreed. There must be some sort of paper trail!!!!?

      lorain.maseko - 2012-11-12 14:14

      good point Gary i know a few people who got bank loans to build those houses.

      art5SA - 2012-11-12 16:15

      Z"TRIBAL LAND" does NOT need municiple interventions... nor do they pay rates and taxes... How come these buildings were NOT HALTED when they started with their buildings? Where were the building inspectors, or town planners....?? Surely they must have Sewerage outlets or water feeds to these houses?

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-11-12 13:20

    Demolish the City of Johannesburg offices with all the moronic,useless and corrupt ineptitudes that work there in it..........bottom line

      arthur.marks.754 - 2012-11-12 14:31

      Just make sure they are ALL inside during working hours.

  • jack.kukard - 2012-11-12 13:22

    At last some sense , why demolish the properties , just give the land as the gov would anyway have given rdp houses.

  • sthembiso.e.zungu - 2012-11-12 13:25

    not everybody bought,as soon as everybody heard that the fraudsters had been arrested people started flocking in from every corner of south africa.people come as far as kzn bcos they have been called to come and build on a free land.but if they win this case it then opens up for the rest of us.we'll build anywhere we feel like,watch this space

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2012-11-12 13:26

    Our government is useless.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-12 13:29

    You would think the Municiaplity would live and let live, as to those who had built. The mines and the farmers put up with it. Good interim order by the judge.

  • melanie.christie2 - 2012-11-12 13:33

    I cannot understand how Zuma sleeps at night while this is happening to the very same people who elected him. There can be no justification, at least build these people homes before choosing to spend millions on yourself. First class voters yet second rate citizens - disgusting.

  • luytster - 2012-11-12 13:36

    Yep lets scrap all the building laws and regulations. I can't wait. I've got my eye on a little section of land on the coast where i'm going to erect my retirement shack.

  • AceOfSpades - 2012-11-12 13:46

    I like this talk about education...Lol, wonder if eduction is protection against fraud

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-11-12 14:09

      It will help, or is that "racist" talk?

  • rofhiwa.ronald.1 - 2012-11-12 13:49

    Its very sad to struggle for many years to build one house .n the so called government agencies come with their lame excuses to demolish it on a split of a second::: ONE:::

  • mike.clery - 2012-11-12 13:51

    What is absolutely unforgivable is that the Gauteng housing department stood by and allowed these unfortunate people to invest what was probably every cent they had in "brick and mortar" houses and THEN demolished them. These weren't "informal dwellings" that were erected overnight. Why wasn't it stopped BEFORE people built?

      Michael du Plessis - 2012-11-12 15:44

      sure vote anc and see your an........

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-11-12 13:59

    This happens too often: People running to the courts to ask them permission to continou breaking the law. Building on land not your own is against the law, building without approved plans is against the law. Illegal electricity connections is against the law, send these people packing, they have been warned 6 years ago.

  • mokantanechristian.lekgothoane - 2012-11-12 13:59

    Houses in Lenasia are demolished whereas someone is building a multi-million Nkandla rubbish. Gizzzzzzz that so sad.

  • frikkie.botes - 2012-11-12 14:00

    All whose houses were demolished should be reimbursed. This illegal properties were sold because of the corrupt government and officials. and they should stand daddy .

  • bosveld.reaper - 2012-11-12 14:02

    Got to love the ANC! If somebody squats on private land, no Problem! But if it is land owned by the ANC!!! they make the red ants look mild!

  • chez.kri - 2012-11-12 14:02

    I don't get this at all. It's government land and the government is supposed to be building rdp houses. Why not let the people stay there and consider it a few less hosues for them to build? I can't even watch this on the news; it is just heart breaking to see these poor people.

  • hiebner - 2012-11-12 14:06

    Provision should first have been made for alternative accommodation for these people. The corrupt officials who sold them the land must be brought to book!!

      bosveld.reaper - 2012-11-12 14:10

      What? A corrupt comrade to face the law? Hmmmffff!!!!

  • bosveld.reaper - 2012-11-12 14:08


  • faerrab - 2012-11-12 15:42

    The idots deserve the demolition - they have free water electricity and garbage collection and they were well aware that a "plan' was made for papers. 100 % of the affected are blacks who dont care about the law.

      njabulo.jama.5 - 2012-11-12 16:39

      Udakiwe msunu wenja

      Mduduzi Nkosi Sindane - 2012-11-12 20:54

      That was rude it proves that you are not South African where do you come from if I may ask? Nx!

  • seun.mogotji - 2012-11-12 15:46

    Thank God for that. These people have nothing as it is, now the little they have gets ripped out from under them. Jokes aside they should all go to Nkandla and move in there. I'm paying for part of that, so I invite them take occupation. It's all very well quoting Laws but why was this situation allowed to develop to such an advanced stage in the first place.

  • faerrab - 2012-11-12 15:46

    If these houses were put up in Sandton or Dainfern then there would be no sympathy fact they are not even tolerated in Soweto

  • nkululeko.j.duma - 2012-11-12 15:54

    Destroy shacks not nice bick houses. come on now!

  • russel.e.weston - 2012-11-12 15:55

    Mmmmm, seems to me that SA is learning more from Zim than how to steal. MugApe did this a few years ago, but who cared then? He set the precedent and now history will repeat itself, just in a different place.

  • ludi.birk - 2012-11-12 17:25

    What a terrible situation! Somehow the old "legal" vs "legitimate" debate comes to mind. Surely a more acceptable and humane solution suiting all parties concerned (to a reasonable extent) could have been found?

  • dofeatsdog - 2012-11-12 18:48

    is this really the best solution they could come up with? destruction of properly? people's live savings? Is this really really the best solution? goes to show the IQ level we're dealing with in the state....

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-13 09:01

    How is a "better life for all reflected in this"? Educated people should know that children are writing exams but they demolish houses with books and all inside.I dont know if I should vote for them anymore.They blame apartheid for having demolished houses but they do it twice as much.They blame apartheid for having killed black people but they kill whenever they please.They blame apartheid for illegal arrests of people but they double the numbers whenever they do it.Shaka said we will never rule this country.Im sure he was right.

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