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Woman says ward councillor destroyed her house and gave stand to other people

By Nomaswazi Nkosi | 2012-09-17 09:41:17.0

An elderly West Rand woman says she has been left homeless after her five-roomed house was demolished on the instruction of the area's ward councillor while she was visiting her family in KwaZulu-Natal.

Thabile Mshuqwana of Tshepisong in Kagiso said she returned in July after her two-month trip to find three shacks on the stand where her brick house used to be.

"When I came back I found other people had built shacks where my house used to be," she said.

Mshuqwana, 65, said she inherited the house in the Ebumnandini informal settlement when her son passed away in January last year.

She owned the five-room brick house and had let out a two-room house next door.

Her tenant, Asanda Mnyaka, said he was at work when the demolition took place. He said when he came back there was rubble in place of the house and Mshuqwana's belongings had been taken.

A neighbour, Solomon Sithole, said he was there when the ward councillor and his colleagues came with a bulldozer to demolish the house.

One of the people who have built their shacks on the stand - and spoke on condition of anonymity - said he and a few other families were told to vacate their homes because a school was to be built on the land where they lived.

He said there were about 15 people who had to move to make way for the school.

He also said it was the ward councillor who had found the stand for them.

"We were told we should demolish the house and I personally refused," he said.

The ward councillor, Zama Nqayi, said the stand did not belong to Mshuqwana but to the municipality.

He said the house Mshuqwana claimed to have lived in was not a house, but a garage. He said she in fact did not live there and had a house elsewhere, which Mshuqwana denied.

Nqayi said Mshuqwana was being influenced by people who were politicising the situation. He also confirmed that the people who now occupied the stand were asked to vacate their previous homes because the area was being developed.

Mshuqwana opened a case of theft and malicious damage to property against Nqayi.

- nkosin@sowetan.co.za

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