Lenasia demolitions 'about corruption'

2012-11-19 20:06

Johannesburg - The demolition of houses on land intended for government housing in Lenasia was part of the fight against corruption, Gauteng Housing MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said on Monday.

"As a caring government, we have always maintained that our decision was correct, and that ours was a fight against corruption and organised crime, which robs our poor people of the opportunity to own a home," she said in a statement.

The department's anti-corruption unit and police demolished 35 unoccupied and incomplete buildings on Monday morning in Lenasia south extension four.

"We have given these people enough time to vacate the land, but our calls were ignored and now we have been left with no options but to demolish these structures," Mekgwe said.

The stands on which the houses are built were apparently fraudulently sold for amounts ranging from R2 500 to R95 000.

The buyers were given forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) approached the South Gautneg High Court in Johannesburg and obtained an interdict to halt demolitions.

Last Thursday, the matter was postponed until Friday.

The department said: "The current court order granting permission to the department to demolish illegal structures in Lenasia is not affected by the current [SA]HRC application in court."

Spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said the department was entitled to continue demolishing houses as no interim court interdict had been granted on Thursday.

However, SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said this was not the case and that no more houses could legally be knocked down pending Friday's court appearance.

On Monday morning, Lenasia south residents gathered around the newly-constructed house of the Lenasia south concerned residents' committee chairperson Lazarus Baloyi.

They pointed out the ruins of other structures which had been demolished, and said the demolition crew had said they would return later in the day.

"The people said they would rather die than allow them to demolish the house," Baloyi said.

He said his house was not on the list of houses scheduled to be knocked down.

"If they started putting in RDP houses then that would block people from moving into open land," Baloyi said.

Thabo Malekete, who had received notification that his house would be demolished, said that when he bought his land the process seemed legitimate and he was unaware of any wrongdoing.

"The man took my ID book and said he needed it to register with the housing department.

"He had maps and stand numbers, on the land were pipes for water and lines for electricity. It seemed to all be legal," he said.

Mekgwe said people needed to double check with the deeds office to ensure that they were legitimately buying land.

"The land belongs to us and we will do anything to make sure that it returns back to us," Mekgwe said.

  • dave.elmore.5 - 2012-11-19 20:14

    "As a caring government", that was close, almost choked on my Jack Daniels.....

      goeie.jaarling - 2012-11-19 20:41

      ...last week the story was it was to help the homeless...these people are a disgrace to the human race and all other races that might exist.

      jack.russel.14268769 - 2012-11-19 21:11

      Thank Goodness that the fight against corruption is against the now homeless and political opponents. We don't want to destabilize the gravy train.

      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2012-11-20 07:49

      LOL. Dave you funny

  • piet.motsoeneng - 2012-11-19 20:20

    Ok, Ms Mekgwe I hear you but the question that is bothering me is, whe are the biggest loosers in this? The corrupt dudes or the victims of corruption? I never thought I would live to see a day when governent will destroy the properties of people who are victims of corruption. Yes, they may be at fault too I dont know but its still a sad story indeed!

      godfrey.welman - 2012-11-19 20:53

      @Piet, quite correct. Also if they are so "caring" why did they not provide the victims with RDP houses.

      francoisjacques.malan - 2012-11-19 22:06

      @godfrey if they used just 10% of the R1.4 billion they spent on their own houses they could have built a house worth a million rand for each of these families...but they didn't, so now these 150 families have to sleep on the street!

      p.borchard - 2012-11-20 08:30

      The flippen domino effect - if the ANC was not corrupt to the core, the RDP houses would have been built and available for those who were supposed to get it. Then opportunity for sly crooks would not have been there to take desperate people's money for land that was never theirs to begin with.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-20 12:56

      Here's something I want to know - has the Province or the Gauteng Municpal Government collected 1 [one] cent in Rates and Taxes or produced any water and electricity accounts which have bene paid by any of these homeowners? If it could be shown that these stands are receiving and paying for municipal services, then the State has accepted their 'reality', profited from it and provided proof of their legitimacy as residents of Gauteng. Now the land may have been sold fraudulently so the Province needs to recover these monies from the criminals and simply declare the housing area as official, provide legal title deeds, assess the properties fairly and manage all future processes. That would be the right thing to do for a socialist government. However - in fairness, if no rates and taxes or services have been paid for, yet delivered then every home builder clearly knew they were in breach [ nothing is for free in the new South Africa if you are outside of the Ruling Elite inner cricle] of normal housing. To use services and not to pay is to know you will be in trouble some day. Now, the bonds [ if any ] registered by conveyancing attorneys with banks also bring a load of questions to the table. This is a big mess but could have been way better handled. I thought there was a standing court order that any evictions by the state had to first have alternative accomodation in place. Is this court order being ignored? The duped residents are not criminals Ms Mekgwe!

  • Gaoboihe John Kgasane - 2012-11-19 20:22

    This government is a disgusting disgrace, how do you demolish people's property in this fashion.

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-11-19 21:02

      Why did the people construct houses without approved building plans? And where were the coucil's building inspectors?

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-11-19 21:38

      And where are the title deeds.....or is this just occupied land????? Is my stand next to be occupied even though I am living on it??? My point is that it is really important to uphold the legal process for ownership, and ensure that land tenure/occupation is based on legal ownership

      Desilusionada - 2012-11-19 21:56

      "As a caring government, we have always maintained that our decision was correct, and that ours was a fight against corruption and organised crime, which robs our poor people of the opportunity to own a home," Soooo, translated it means, we fight corruption by demolishing the houses of the poor. Easier to break a poor person's house down than catching and prosecuting the corrupt official that sold the stand. How this helps the poor and give them an opportunity to own a house we will explain later. Very correct decision....

  • Carol Haywood - 2012-11-19 20:26


  • ShottaZee - 2012-11-19 20:27

    Well if it is really about corruption they must go and demolish Nkandla after this!

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-11-19 20:27

    Yuo are talking nonsense. As a caring government what have you done to bring the fraudsters to book?Examples of corruption in government is so huge that this corruption is a drop in the ocean.It seems that good law abiding citizens of this country have no protection from the corrupt, why? because the government itself is corrupt.

  • KCorsar - 2012-11-19 20:34

    pull the other leg, its dead. What absolute BS, this is small fry in respect of corruption........

  • reine.marais - 2012-11-19 20:34

    What on earth is the point of demolishing stuff? There has to be another way to resolve this rather than to break yet more stuff. What kind of mind destroys so randomly and so pointlessly.

  • nkhangwe.madzivh - 2012-11-19 20:36

    You can't blame these people,everything is fraudulent in this government,to get RDP house you pay,everything,so they thought is legitimate but as usual they must pay,you fix your department corruption n u will never had such a problem.

  • chirnsidep - 2012-11-19 20:40

    So if that's their approach towards tackling corruption can we count on them demolishing Nkandla next?

  • brad.ken.18 - 2012-11-19 20:41

    This filthy lot promised too much! Thats the problem. And how dare they blame others for bad service delivery! Zimpopo today, cant even wash newborn gifts from heaven (babies), cause some scum hospital cant deliver water! cANCer, you are a hardcore vermin society! Deal with your incompetencies in the interim and help the poor. Cause you're NOT going to last long! Unless of course, you burn the country because thats the African way!

  • thomas.wilson.3745496 - 2012-11-19 20:42

    This is the edge of a deeper scandal, if the bank issued a bond on that land them the bank owns the deed, the bank should have checked with the deeds office. If a payment has been made then establish to who and when. Let the people stay in a rent/lease agreement. Then sort out the issue it's bricks and mortar. The cost of demolition and legal costs is more expensive that the rebuild. If you where a government of the people then work for the people. Use a rational solution and reasonable outcomes will prevail.

  • themba.thwala.775 - 2012-11-19 20:42

    "Lenasia demolitions 'about corruption'...." the ANC way. I can bet my last penny all the corrupt are ANC members

  • SharonE - 2012-11-19 20:42

    "As a caring government, we have always maintained that our decision was correct, and that ours was a fight against corruption and organised crime, which robs our poor people of the opportunity to own a home" I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry because of the above statement. My heart truly goes out to the woman in the picture. She was fighting everything this government stands for - all alone. She lost everything that day. If she read this article, would she believe the hogwash that the government is spewing??

  • bcluley - 2012-11-19 20:50

    That housing land was exclusively reserved for cANCer supporters, thats why they kicking all the people off it.

  • kamogelo.makomane - 2012-11-19 20:55

    So ppl shud be hobbos, da same ppl hu voted fr u, then y blame whites wen did that @sophiatown?,,, is anc da only party for blacks cus thy act like thy jst untouchable n tht makes me sick, jst wish black n whites can unite n form a unique party to save ths country, f** our government

      francoisjacques.malan - 2012-11-19 22:38

      Kamogelo the DA is a multiracial party, look at what they've achieved in the Western Cape! Education for everyone! Jobs! Public transport for rich AND poor (unlike Gautrain), toll free roads for everyone! Every South African deserve this, so vote for it nex time

  • lorna.m.eaton - 2012-11-19 21:06

    Oh for heavens sake, those poor people were cheated and conned and now the caring government is destroying what they have struggled so hard to build. They are NOT squatters, they are NOT building scruffy shanty houses on land that does not belong to them. The government is not tackling corruption (what a laugh anyway) because THESE are the victims of corruption not the perpertrators. Leave them alone. This is a HORRIBLE thing to do, particularly when they do absolutely nothing about illegal squatters and land-grabbers on farms and private properties as well as public land elsewhere.

  • Mogotlane Mojeremane - 2012-11-19 21:09

    Deal with the one who sold the land not people who build and occupied the land. its wrong for government to act so backward. The ANC government has degenerated to the lowest.

      tw2066 - 2012-11-19 21:44

      Agree 100%. The corrupt official, said to be a connected ANC cadre, will sleep in her house inder a roof tonight, while the victims are homeless. And the ANC call this "caring" - yeah for themselves. And I bet the majority vote for this crowd again, so that they can again waste YOUR money, kill workers, bulldoze houses and destroy our kids education.

  • blessings.makoka - 2012-11-19 21:11

    Oh mother Africa,when are going to own our heritage,'LAND' to enjoy that which is African heritage.Please politicians must not use the name of the poor to justify their actions of really hurting takes an arm and a leg ,to put up a house.Cry the beloved country,the devil at work.People are people.where are our conflict resolution skills.How can we vote for these gov, again.Loyalty gone with every brick that went down.Mekgoe put yourself in those peoples boots for a split second.Where is your consciousness,how can you go bed with such decisions.Difficult to comprehend.

      tw2066 - 2012-11-19 21:40

      Vote ANC and carry on asking ..... Dont let me be the one to say I told you so after the 1994 elections. Believe in your struggle and carry on wondering .... Truth is the ANC are no better than the NP.

  • marco.d.rego.5 - 2012-11-19 21:20

    Couldn't agree more. That's just what we need.

  • marco.d.rego.5 - 2012-11-19 21:24

    Totally agree. This government is keeping racism alive. I think we have all learnt from our past.

  • francoisjacques.malan - 2012-11-19 22:19

    If a farmer wants to evict someone that occupies his house illegally, he cannot just go and demolish it! You have to make sure the person has alternative housing before they get evicted, even if it is illegal and no matter how much time it takes! Why is the government above the laws that applies to other South Africans?

  • pws69 - 2012-11-19 23:40

    So let me get this straight. These people were given documents on OFFICIAL STATIONARY, by HOME AFFAIRS OFFICIALS, who were corrupt, and you punish these corrupt Home Affairs Officials by letting them keep their jobs, and punishing their victims? Wow. Next your going to tell me that you're stealing MY money for my own good.

  • pws69 - 2012-11-19 23:43

    "If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government" - Nelson Mandela, Address to the September 1994 COSATU Congress

  • charmaine.rowlands - 2012-11-20 01:28

    "As a caring government, we have always maintained that our decision was correct, and that ours was a fight against corruption and organised crime, which robs our poor people of the opportunity to own a home," OMG, this takes the cake!! I had to read this 10 times LMAO!!

  • attie.gerber.1 - 2012-11-20 05:28

    the worst of this whole mess is that comes next years election these people will again vote for these corrupt idiots. it is time the masses stand up for their rights and don't vote for the a n c. it is the only way their lives will improve with a new government that cares for the people. the only party that can do this is the d a

  • godesha - 2012-11-20 05:57

    Will these people be compensated for the land they bought? No, I don't think so. Will the officials who sold them the land and pocketed the money be brought to book? No, I doubt it. My heart broke for these people who had to watch as their homes were demolished, but obviously it does not bother the government. How cold hearted can one be?

  • Nnu Molefe - 2012-11-20 06:29

    Where is compassion? What is the president saying? It's all unfair coz they are making people homeless while they are sleeping in their own houses and they make as if they gonna build better houses. The whole aim behind this is to make someone rich by issuing a tender no wonder they are so pushy

  • brionyl.french - 2012-11-20 06:32

    bwahahahaha dont make me laugh caring government... Thats the joke of the century

  • psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-11-20 08:00

    "...we have always maintained that our decision was correct, and that ours was a fight against corruption and organised crime..." Is that why the ANC elected Zuma as its president and seeks to re-elect him? A man with over 700 criminal charges against him, which he dodged through the abuse of state organs? A man who has abused state resources and funds for personal enrichment? The ANC only fights corruption when it doesn't touch their corrupt, greedy, thieving leadership...

  • seventhheavenproperties - 2012-11-20 08:00

    Why do they not take action against the sellers? How did they get water and electricity ? - but no government must demolish homes... - they want to believe they are doing our bit to fight corruption...

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-20 09:13

    Ok, so why can't the Government demolish these houses and then make sure that anyone who lost their current house would get an RDP house first? If they just work the process correctly these guys would not even have to be without a home as they could develop RDP houses on areas not affected and then move the people into these homes? Maybe I am just making the process too simple??

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-11-20 09:25

    The ANC is showing its true colour to the poor. They do not care about the poor. These poor ppl gave there savings to a corrupt official of the ANC. The ANC wont make her give back the money she stole, she'll get a tap on the wrist and moved to another department. Wake up ANC voters, your ANC government does not care about you. All they want is your vote so they can keep living the high life. Its amazing to how quick government reacts to this land grab because its government land, but yet when they grab other land then it becomes a racist issue.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-20 10:00

    It amaze me, when these people open their mouths they always talk crap. Is this the best the ANC can produce?. I can't believe it.

  • liz.rudy.3 - 2012-11-20 10:03

    This is so heart wrenching - that poor woman's face as she tries to stop the bulldozer from flattening her house. And the say we are not headed in the same direction as Zim.

  • sibongile.m.mbatha - 2012-11-20 15:04

    anc governmnt cnt built houses 4 ppl bt demolishes wen ppl built demselves houses. its behavin lyk apartheid governmnt its da sym wats da point of votin

  • odupreez - 2012-11-20 15:16

    How can a "caring" regime be fighting corruption, by demolishing the houses of occupants who were defrauded, they should have been looking a a work around to assist these unfortunate persons, but no, they the unlucky people a screwed over twice - one by thugs, "posing" as legal sellers (most probably very well informed persons or regime employees) and now by he "caring" regime.

  • Maude - 2012-11-20 16:00

    you Mekgwe you talk as if you are not a mother cause you have money to apply for a bond and if these people they were not culprit of corruption they would have the RDP houses, because of your corrupt dept they have to pay for someone who is greedy and want to know how did the council approve the water and electricity?

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