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defying chief's orders

By unknown | Feb 05, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alfred Moselakgomo andSipho Masombuka

Alfred Moselakgomo andSipho Masombuka

In an unprecedented move, a 40-year-old Mpumalanga woman is taking her local chief to the Constitutional Court for unlawful eviction.

This comes after Molly Mokonyane, of Marapyane village in the KwaMhlanga area, was ordered to remove her shack and fined R50 for defying the chief's order to vacate the area.

Mokonyane uses the shack as a kiosk to sell fruit and vegetables, but Bakgatla-Ba-Mocha's Kgosi Tlhame Moepi is against this.

Mokonyane told Sowetan that the chief said the reason for her eviction was that he did not want people to turn his village "into shack stalls".

But Mokonyane argues that there are other villagers who have erected stalls in the area but are not being evicted. "Why am I the only one being evicted? Should not this be applying to everyone? This is not fair and is discriminatory. All I want is to earn an honest living," Mokonyane said.

She said she was summoned to appear before the tribal court where the chief ordered her to remove the shack.

Her lawyer, advocate Mphafolane Koma, said he would challenge the chief's ruling as it was based on the now-defunct Black Areas Administration Act.

Sowetan spoke to other informal traders in the area and they said they had never been told to move. When asked for comment, the chief accused Mokonyane of erecting the stall without following proper procedures.

"She had been ordered on many occasions not to erect her shack where it stands, but she did not listen," said Moepi.


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