Lenasia demolition reprieve extended

2012-11-13 14:52

Johannesburg - The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday extended an order halting the demolition of houses in Lenasia Extension 13.

The matter was postponed for the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to file answering affidavits by noon on Wednesday.

SAHRC chief executive Kayum Ahmed said outside court this meant that a court order preventing further demolition for 24 hours, granted on Monday, was extended at least until Wednesday.

Judge Brian Spilg asked for progress on a census, which was being conducted to determine how many people were affected by the demolitions.

He said the census was important to prevent other people moving onto the land and claiming the same rights as those who had been living there.

About 50 houses destroyed

"Anyone who comes onto the land after that date cannot effectively seek refuge," Spilg said.

The Gauteng local government and housing department began destroying the houses last Thursday and Friday because the land they were built on was intended for government housing, and had been sold illegally.

About 50 houses had been destroyed and another 113 were in line to be demolished.

The plots of land were apparently sold fraudulently for amounts ranging from R2 500 to R95 000. The buyers were given forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

Last week, housing department spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said residents were told in 2006 not to build houses on the land.

Outside the court on Tuesday affected residents and their neighbours held a picket to draw attention to their difficulties.

One woman shouted: "Our children are writing exams, they are traumatised."

Others waved placards. "Where must we go? Why breaking houses?" one read.

Another questioned what the ANC felt about the department demolishing their homes.

Racial matter

Others considered the destruction of their houses a racial matter.

"No freedom for blacks," one man's placard read, while another had the words: "Why Indians own seven houses?"

On Monday Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the government had been sympathetic to the plight of the residents.

This was because it only began destroying the houses last week, after being ordered to do so in September last year.

  • gideon.walt - 2012-11-13 14:59

    hahah best line "Why Indians own seven houses?"

      yo.naidoo.7 - 2012-11-14 11:54

      Because the Indians BOUGHT and paid for the houses and did not wait for the government to hand it to them on a plate. Ditto for all of the others that have mutiple properties, be it Indian, White or Black

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-23 15:57

      Well said yo!!

  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-11-13 15:02

    At least Zuma has a R250 mil new home/town so who cares about the rest. Guess you get what you vote for !!!

      edwin.morena.3 - 2012-11-13 15:47

      This will make those ppl 2 wake up nd never vote 4 ZumZum again. Sum ppl r just idiots, morons, stupid, rascals, nd group of fools. ZumZum must go, period. We dont nid a stupid pres, tired!

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-13 15:02

    How does this help those who have now had their houses torn down!

  • bless.boswell - 2012-11-13 15:09

    Why was this matter not investigated properly when it became known? Why was the recipient of the fraudulent funds not traced and dealt with and made to pay back the monies taken? Why must the residents suffer? Does government really think that if they had known that their houses could be torn down at any time, that they would have paid over their hard earned cash? Maybe someone should put Makonyane out on the street to see what that treatment feels like. Maybe then she would be more sensitive to the needs if her people. Or is she too high and mighty to care? This amounts to a major crisis for those people. Why do they have no-one looking out for them? Who is their councillor?

      godfrey.welman - 2012-11-13 15:24

      Can you imagine the up roar if the DA had to do something like this.

      werner.nel.712 - 2012-11-13 15:27

      The rest of the world will introduce sanctions again!

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-11-13 17:22

      Actually they went into this with their eyes wide opened. Apparently the sellers told them not to worry, because even if they are evicted, the constitution requires the governmment to give them alternative accomodation. Pull the rubbish down. Crime should never be seen to pay!

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-11-13 17:23

      Actually Goedfrey, the DA did it in Hangberg - it was also quite terrible. I salute the DA for not jumping onto the band wagon and trying to be a spokesperson for the illegal squatters - they must face the music.Worn is wrong.

  • jlushaba - 2012-11-13 15:24

    2006 they were warned, 2009 they were allowed to vote in Lenasia, 2011 they were counted in Lenasia Now they are illegal occupants? I have a feeling that maybe the ANC lost the Lenasia area in 2009.

  • lee.j.roebuck - 2012-11-13 15:27

    how does this become a race issue? that is exactly the type of logic which has led to such widespread corruption - "he has it so I want it too". The unfortunate thing of this matter is that is the exact type of thought process that government officials are instiling in people. The ANC is government and according to their webpage they state one of their aims is "liberation of Africans in particular and black people in general from political and economic bondage. It means uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor" So where did "upliftment" come into the equation with those houses scattered around Lenasia?!?!

  • TeeM - 2012-11-13 15:28

    Government wants to demolish these houses and build their own for the very same people? I understand that these people bought the land, although it was from a non-government official or office and this was due to lack of information from the people. So government should just make these people pay or re-buy the land (this is still unfair but its better to demolishing their houses... I am sure government can find another land to build the new houses they want to build. Have they investigated the culprits responsible for selling their land? or that is less of a crime than occupying a government land?

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-13 15:36

    It scares me to imagine how many people would be dead, homeless, tortured and in jail if there was no media coverage on the insane bull that the ANC has become since the day they realized that Jesus would come back to find them ruling this country.I am really worried that they have managed to take me out of my comfort zone by making me see them for who they really are and capable of with this Linasia issue.Well done...if votes were kept in a bank account I would withdraw all of them.

      Erna - 2012-11-13 16:41

      Hopefully there will be more SAfricans who will see how arrogant the anc has become over the past few years. That's unfortunately what happens when a single party has such a huge majority.

      Justin Mettew - 2012-11-13 16:47

      The correctness of your statement has been rendered void by your (ill-advised) notion of elevating the role of the media to a place it does not deserve!

  • david.lebethe - 2012-11-13 15:45

    This is one decision that judge Spilg is going to live with for a longtime to come. As a legal practitioner myself, I cannot understand why didn't the court come to ordinary people's rescue and when they werer clearly robbbed by unscrupolous thieves, who should have been rounded and made to pay heavy for their crime? On the other hand it was callous on Gauteng government to turn on people, who are clearly victims of crime. Regardless of any explanation to the contrary, this is not what is expected from people's government. Lack of intervention on the part of the anc and the alliance make it complicit as it should have intervened. Both cosatu and sacp cannot claim ignorance and should all shoulder the blame - they are quick to claim easy victories and where they are required to take a stand, they shy away. However, they will all reap the whirlwind one day.

  • mannetjies.jordaan - 2012-11-13 16:06

    Haha!! Zuma is using your bricks for his new house!! VIVA!! Vote ANC!! VIVA!!

      david.lebethe - 2012-11-13 16:55

      @mannetjie! Your comment has evoked a wound that was healing. The sight of a black woman standing before a bulldozer evokes our painful past and undermines any efforts towards nationa building and reconciliation in this country. Unlike laughing at it, maybe you should join multitudes who condemned the action leat it becomes a threat to our own peace -people who harbour resentment are not only a threatr to themselves but to others as well. I seriously implore you to reconsider your comment.

  • purpledotseverywhere - 2012-11-13 16:13

    Why does the government not go to the people who sold the land illegally in the first place and let the residents stay until there is some clarity. Too hasty to get their precious land back! What will the government do for those people they have just made homeless... disgusted (again) at the way this has been handled by the people who run this country.

      david.lebethe - 2012-11-13 17:05

      The irony is that the government has gone to the extreme to build houses. You wonder why it could built RDP houses next to houses it demolished as a ploy to get people to move from their property? Isn't that what those leaving in leafy areas do as soon as black people move in their neighbourhood or RDP houses are build at their door step?

  • nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-11-13 17:20

    Yes throw the race e card, then the focus moves away ffrom the real issue of illegally occupying land and now we have to manage the race allegations!

  • khaya.mteshane - 2012-11-13 17:48

    One word - RUTHLESS!!!

  • ontlhabanetsesteve.baepile - 2012-11-13 17:49

    Freedom means the right to undermine your gorvement,kill,parents ginital painting.

  • elsie.palmer.90 - 2012-11-13 19:23

    Why demolish houses to build RDP house,it seems to me the government loves to waste money.

  • motajj - 2012-11-13 21:22

    not sure what this atrocity has to do with 'indians owning 7 houses'. unfortunately in these situations, people start blaming innocent parties. This is very sad and unfortunate that these people were robbed and deprived of their land. I hope they see that the govt is doing absolutely nada to help them.

  • christina.setloboko - 2012-11-14 10:47

    anc govn have no control and have proven that in many things, they cant manage anything at all. this could have been prevented some how, now people have lost and still to pay the banks, I hate anc.

  • msekhoto1 - 2012-11-14 11:27

    When all this started where the government was? the municipality? why did they let this people live there for so long? what was done when they started building this houses, from the first house to almost 200. Whose fault is it?

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