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'rebuild or go to jail'

By unknown | Apr 24, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The Greater Blouburg municipality in Limpopo is racing against time to rebuild shacks it destroyed.

The municipality was ordered by a Pretoria high court to rebuild 67 shacks it demolished last year or its officials would spend time behind bars.

The court order requires the municipality to rebuild the 67 shacks within 14-days or alternatively pay a fine of R25000 - or its officials would be imprisoned for 60 days.

The order, signed by Justice Classen on April 8, states that the municipality had been unable to honour three orders by the court dated January 21, February 25 and April 8.

The order says all ward councilors and municipal managers would be jailed or fined if they failed to honour the latest order.

The court ordered the municipality to rebuild the shacks within 14-days. So far only 10 shacks have been rebuilt.

The municipality still has another 57 shacks to rebuild within six days.

Should the municipality fail to meet the deadline all 37 councilors, including the mayor and managers, will be arrested for contempt of court.

Wilson Hlaku, chairman of the local branch of the South African National Civic Organisation, threatened that all hell would break lose if the shacks were not rebuilt by Tuesday.

"Winter is here, Hlaku said. "That means our families will be forced to sleep in the cold.".

The situation will get worse for the Mongalos, who had to erect another shack to accommodate 20 family members.

Salititi Mongalo, the only employed person, said the family depended on government social grants for survival.

Neither municipal manager Isaac Makhura nor municipal spokesman, Phuti Matlou were available to comment at the time of going to press.


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