Demolition of Lenasia homes 'disappointing'

2012-11-12 12:08

Johannesburg - Over 100 houses illegally erected on land owned by the City of Johannesburg will continue to be demolished in Lenasia, the provincial local government and housing department said on Monday.

"We were vindicated by the High Court last week Friday when an urgent application by the residents and those occupying that land was dismissed, as the court agreed we were acting well within our rights by demolishing those houses," head of the department Mongezi Myani said.

The department would work with the police and Johannesburg metro police to ensure the demolitions went ahead with no disruptions. Officials tearing the houses down had not been intimidated, but safety was a priority.

Lenasia residents barricaded roads and burnt tyres last week. Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said there were no signs of protest action on Monday.

Last week the department destroyed about 50 houses. Another 113 houses were yet to be demolished. They had been illegally built on land intended for government houses. The department said fraudsters had sold plots for between R2 500 and R95 000. Buyers were apparently issued with fraudulent deeds of sale which had the department's logo.

Various groups including the SA Human Rights Commission and Congress of SA Trade Unions had criticised the demolitions. Some home owners claimed they had been living on the properties for over 10 years.


The Ecological Movement of SA also expressed disappointment at the demolitions.

Spokesperson Teboho Mashota said: "How can the Gauteng government claim to be sending a strong message by demolishing houses?

"Instead, they should be finding ways of ensuring that those who are already there pay services and other necessary fees."

Mashota said the illegal sales were immaterial as families were acting within their constitutional rights.

"Ordinary working class families went out of their way to find means of making a reality of providing shelter to their loved ones, given our right as enshrined in our so-called progressive Constitution, the right to access to housing and the right to property," she said.

The Ecological Movement of SA champions human rights and climate change issues. It was formed by former members of the Anti-Privatisation Forum.

  • customdesign - 2012-11-12 12:15

    This is really disappointing- I'm sure the government could have found a way to meet them half way with this, instead they are leaving without compensation or anywhere to go. The government is in their legal right, but it doesn't mean it is humane.

      aarchaic - 2012-11-12 12:22

      Very true but why not ask questions when people said do not build on the land. same as buying a car you wont buy a car from another person at a fraction of the cost and agree that the person you bought it from will come fetch your engine and suspension parts as he didnt include it in the deal...

      israel.maseko.5 - 2012-11-12 12:41

      This is very dissapointing indeed, the gorvenment should have came up with a constructive decision in accomodating the said house owners by assisting them in having the legal right to those houses. First of All this land was created by God and it is the gorvenment responsibility to do administration.

      luther.kingsley.5 - 2012-11-12 12:45

      Professional land grabs... who's suffering now. If building inspectors and town planners were doing their job this illegal building process would not have gone unnoticed.

      frederick.nel - 2012-11-12 12:46

      Keep voting ANC!

      nasheenar - 2012-11-12 13:14

      Well hopefully people will remember this incident when the elections come around. Instead of being fooled by free chicken and other idiotic stunts make your vote count so that the government you vote for does not leave you homeless.

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2012-11-12 17:53

      Operation a la Mugabe

  • sakhile.gamede - 2012-11-12 12:24

    where is the ANC,im going to leave this political party now?this is sad...its k but,our own people doing this to us,in our land,its k,one day,it will be the downfall of the ANC,and the sad thing is that im ANC..

      hendrik.verwoerd.14 - 2012-11-12 13:32

      @sakhile.gamede: Careful there, or else they might pull a Malema on you & kick you out for talking out against them. But its an excellent point you make, ironic thing is next time the votes come around, everyone is going to forget what happened there.

  • sakhile.gamede - 2012-11-12 12:25

    f...k the ANC

      mlungisi.magada - 2012-11-12 13:35

      don't say that.

      sakhile.gamede - 2012-11-12 13:46

      ufana ngithini mf2,labantu bebulala isizwe samthaniya..

  • mashudu.ndou.3 - 2012-11-12 12:33

    Disappointing Indeed! :-(

  • ShottaZee - 2012-11-12 12:37

    Always slow to deliver houses to the people they are quick to demolish without trying to find solutions or alternatives to this issue. Sad day indeed.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-11-12 12:40

    just when you thought the government had sunk to the lowest it could go - it hits rock bottom and starts to dig. the ANC refuse point blank to listen to the very people I'm sure voted them into power. this must look really amazing on the international tv screens. I hope the ANC reap as they've sewn JZ you sack of garbage.

  • danie.malan - 2012-11-12 12:41

    A very sad thing to happen. And guess what, these people will probably vote for the ANC in 2014.

      lwazi.sibiya.10 - 2012-11-12 13:11

      Don't hold your thumb, there is huge campaign by anc voters to abstain in 2014 just to snub them which is good sign.

  • israel.maseko.5 - 2012-11-12 12:42

    This is very dissapointing indeed, the gorvenment should have came up with a constructive decision in accomodating the said house owners by assisting them in having the legal right to those houses. First of All this land was created by God and it is the gorvenment responsibility to do administration.

  • Rashida Patel - 2012-11-12 12:44

    Shame on gauteng and anc government!! Sadly ,these poor will still vote for those who made them homeless

  • olivia.debruyn - 2012-11-12 12:47

    This was beyond sad watching it on the news. As much as I don't agree with building on land sold illegally. Putting people out on the street, just because you can screams of a government not caring about it's citizens. Once again the ANC proves to be a bunch of unfeeling, uncaring bafoons. But, keep on voting for them. All promises of housing, water, jobs, safety, medical care, better lives for their people are looked at and laughed at. What a joke of a political party.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-11-12 12:47

    This was against the law, good on you ANC for a change.

      lionel.nel.7 - 2012-11-12 14:11

      Jy's n regte racist boer , imagine you got conned would you like it ??

  • Shepherd Kgakala - 2012-11-12 12:48

    very sad

  • johannes.ramara - 2012-11-12 12:55

    Can somebody at the council get to his/her senses. The council was suppose to tell the people that you are illegally on a piece of land. Now that people who sold you that land have been arrested , will go through court proceedings and help you to recover your money. In the meantime please rent the land from the council. After all the money from all fraudster which includes council officials we will be compensated and go and look for alternative place to stay. The awy it is being handle it is still going to hit us the tax payers to pay for the law suits. There are also legal housings structures that are being demolished. A house with all the furnitures aws destroyed and when the conractor hired check his list realise he made a mistake he ran away. Whois now responsible? The rate payers are going to fooot this bill. Please Mokonyane and your cronies come to yoour senses.

  • Riaan Venter - 2012-11-12 12:56

    Eish!!!People there are 12 party's for once vote for any party accept the ANC even just for 1 term and shake their foundation maybe then they will wake up and smell the coffee and do something!!!

      tony.angel.3975 - 2012-11-12 13:27

      Pse.dont shake!

  • lwazi.sibiya.10 - 2012-11-12 12:57

    It is sad indeed but it is wake up call to a reality of a heartless ANC. Paul Mashatile and them are interested in that Mangaung circus then the well being of ordinary people. How different is ANC of today than NP? Same devil different colour.

  • brian.mokhawana - 2012-11-12 12:57

    Sending a strong message my foot, Try moving shacks built illegally then a message will be sent. You always speak of restoring human dignity was that restoring Bloody ANC

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-12 12:57

    Hope all thoswe residents voted anc cause then they are getting what they deserve... if not it is sad that people are put on the street by this corrupt government...

  • fatima.shaikjee - 2012-11-12 13:09

    For all those that think they will vote ANC u are clearly wrong... The DA has won in lenasia maybe that's why all of sudden they demolishing the homes... Its not the residents fault,down the road there's illegal squatting and up till now no one has demolished them they were even given a name ...but since its majority indians in ext 13 they go ahead and demolish...

  • disebo.tladi - 2012-11-12 13:11

    Very sad and dissapointing indeed!Is this the freedom our parents fought for? Shooo!

  • John - 2012-11-12 13:12

    The apex of stupidity! They built their own RDP houses. Now a stupid bureaucrat tears them down! Did his tenderpreneur nepot lose out? I would say give the poor a piece of OUR equal and undivided land of our birth to build adequate housing upon! Encourage self help. The settlers did it. Why can't WE all?

      tony.angel.3975 - 2012-11-12 13:25

      Dear Johny......

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-12 13:34

      yes ....... ??????. Wrong Johnny ?. Ooops. You two better get a room....

  • jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-12 13:17

    These people were conned. If I am conned or suffer fraud at the hands of my supplier my credit card company takes the rap. The government should recognise that it was not proactive in dealing with these con artists and take the rap and help these people. These people are not criminals or 'land grabbers'. They paid for their plots - Admitedly to the wrong people , but then again do highly litterate and worldy wise people live in shacks ?. I have always maintained and will always maintain that the 'old' order was better for everyone than the 'new' order and I am happy to thumbs downedall day long for saying so. However the one thing that I was deeply ashamed of and will always be terribly ashamed of was the way the 'old' order bulldozed peoples houses and shacks without providing alternative accomodation. Now the ANC does the same. It is now officialy worse than the old National Party.

  • thapelo.maleka.94 - 2012-11-12 13:17

    mafia government sis

  • - 2012-11-12 13:26

    This is more sad than disapointing, my thoughts are going out more for the kids at this stage, now instead of spending 1.2bn on a dammm road, why not push it into an area to accomodated these people, after all they have paid are hard working wage to get that piece of land they been staying on, even though it was a scam, not everyone is wide eyed for scams.

  • sthembiso.e.zungu - 2012-11-12 13:33

    most of you guys are only educated when it comes to criticising president zuma,cant you at least try use your common sense?let me try and make it clear to you garankuwa people had invaded the government land,their houses got demolished,it happened in power park,soweto.housed got demolished.should this be allowed to stand then it opens up to a lot more land invasions,personaly if this is allowed to stand then i have an area that i wanna build on and no one will remove me since i'll be having a case to refer to,period!think people!

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-12 13:38

      sthembiso - these people are NOT land invaders. They PAID for there plots. To the wrong people yes yes yes we know. BUT how did the con-men get the letter heads. If you are defrauded using your credit card your credit card company covers you. These people were victims. The role of government is to help victims. Whether it is victims of fire flood or crime. These criminals only support criminals never victims.

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-11-12 13:53

      @sithembiso.e.zungu:) while you are educating us, I have one niggling question for you if you don't mind. The official from housing department admitted that there are people who were duped into believing that they have legitimate title deeds with the official stamp from Gauteng Housing Department which was illegally used by their official who is now facing charges for illegally selling that land. So the is here is the family who bought the land unbeknown to them that the official is a thief. How would their situation be dealt with? It was mentioned that one family paid that thief R98000 for the stand and spent thousands of rands building the family house which is now lying in ruins. How does the government deal with that family. What if the thief has blown the money rendering suing him an exercise in futility? The government said it want to build low cost houses there. Do you think it was wise to continue building that demolishing? I'm just thinking aloud here!

      brapiet.matshipa - 2012-11-12 14:53

      Sthembiso u r one of the stupid person I hv ever come across .u don't know wat u r talking about so just keep quit you bloody moron.those ppl paid for the land n they hv prove of that,they were just robed by one of goverment employee using state resource to defraud them

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-11-12 15:09

      Sthembiso you are correct. These people was told in 1908 that the land does not belong to them and that it was sold to them illegaly. But tipical SA they continued to build their illegal houses, now that legal action is taken, all SA shout to help criminals. That is why there is no law and order in our country

  • danielle.knoesen - 2012-11-12 13:35

    This is utterly disgusting!! These people built their own homes with their own money!! why demolish them to build crap rdp houses? The mind boggles. Yes they were there illegally, but not due to their own fault!! The government could have made a plan and left them in their homes and charged an amount for the land that these people could of paid back slowly. It is not like they built a shanty town, these where decent houses for their families!! Come on ANC....stop killing your own voters!!

  • vic.carrots - 2012-11-12 13:40

    Voting ANC means people are idiots who keep on paying TAX and get their houses they sweat to build demolished, while they (ANC fat cats) building/renovating their houses including ZUMAVILLE in Inkandla. I just wish you will be given a temporary or permanent place to stay in Inkandla.

  • nthato.thema1 - 2012-11-12 13:44

    Former presidents face goes on money and in the same week the people it should motivate lose their houses. Goverment land is for the citizens, think an agreement with the families could've been met. We're realistically in a money 1st society.

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-12 13:54

      yep Money FIRST into the comrades' pockets.

  • sivuyile.daba - 2012-11-12 13:45

    if those houses were shacks goverment would have probably built new RDP house for those people and relocated them. but now that they built themselves proper houses they have been demoloshed without looking at any other possible ways of avoiding that.stupidity really! or is it because RDP houses have fat stakes of corupt tender processes??? this need some serious attention.

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-12 13:50

      You have nailed it in one Sivuyile !.

  • thaven.naidoo.3 - 2012-11-12 13:50

    Homeless must erect homes in the Bothasig,Cape Town. There a lot of abandon land. The residents of Bothasig would not mind at all. There must be intergration of the \have nots\ wud the middle order.

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-12 14:03

      dum dum... These people were NOT homeless. They BUILT homes. They were made homeless by the ANC. Now I know that you have never been south of 'Toti or north of Pinetown , the chilli's , bunnys and vindaloos having kept you stuck on the loo in Chatsworth for most of your adult life and all , but Lenasia is a little distance away from Bothasig.

      diran.pillay - 2012-11-13 05:46

      You crack me up dude

  • mariette.troxler - 2012-11-12 13:57

    Iwazi, abstaining from voting is pointless, it certainly won't be perceived as a snub. Abstaining is like voting for the ANC. The only thing that really changes is the voter %. We have to vote for another party, any party.

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2012-11-12 14:39

    Let's vote again 4 ANC next elections and get more of this and tyre-burning service delivery protests . Blacks don't see beyond ANC election promises and it will take us another 300 years to see the light . We don't realise what our votes can do for us , not the cadres and their cronies only .

  • maselela - 2012-11-12 14:39

    seems like this thing is getting worse by the day

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-11-12 15:45

    After reading this article i was reminded of Kaye Sexwale letter to the Citi Press publised on October . In the next election i will vote for a better RSA not a fat cat ANC.

  • godfrey.nxumalo.5 - 2012-11-12 18:29

    It's sad seeing humans behaving more like animals than adapting to their natural habitat. I wonder what happened to the spirit of ubuntu especially by our own brothers and sisters. Blacks will never change and will always be classified as apes coz that exactly where they derive from in any case. Barbarricks....

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-12 19:10

    Hypocritical of this govenment that claims to be pushing for land redistribution.they are hugging land for buddies just like in zim.puke!

  • nonkululekothandeka.ntuli - 2012-11-13 19:59

    As a young, \born free\, black South African i am truly disappointed! Is this the democracy we are said to be living in? I fail to understand why it is a mission to build houses for people and then demolish the houses that the people build themselves out of their last few cents! How did we get here? Is this still \our South Africa, our Country\? No words can ever explain how im feeling right now.

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