Sat Oct 22 23:33:52 SAST 2016

Evicted families in limbo for three weeks

By unknown | Aug 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

More than 20 families have been living along the R512 road at Lanseria, northwest of Johannesburg, for the past three weeks after BEING evicted from Botesdal farm.

Lobisa Sibeko, 63, who is on a wheelchair after suffering a stroke eight years ago, said they had nowhere to go.

"Jumbo security came and told us to leave while they demolishing our shacks without prior notice," she said.

Sibeko said since she was on a wheelchair she could not take all her belongings.

"I managed to take a few things with me and it is going to be difficult to start a new life," she said.

Sibeko lives with her four grandchildren and five other families in a tent a few metres from Lanseria Airport.

"This place is not safe for our children. Cars pass at high speed and children can be knocked down at any time," she said.

Priscilla Masilo said she could not believe she had been evicted from her place of birth.

"I was born on that farm in 1943, and now I'm told to go and live somewhere else," she said.

She said they were told to move to Diepsloot near Fourways.

"Wraypex found us here and they will leave us here," she said.

Development company Wraypex, which bought the farm, plans to build a golf estate, a hotel and townhouses on the land, said Jonathan Woortmeyer, who supervises the land on behalf of Wraypex.

"I'm concerned about them but there is nothing I can do," Woortmeyer said. "I just look after the farm."

Last week about 500 residents of the Malatjie informal settlement, a few kilometres from Botesdal, protested at the Johannesburg high court against their eviction by the same company.

Wraypex applied for a court order to evict them.

According to court papers the residents occupied the land, Lindley Farm, unlawfully and the applicant, Wraypex, had an interest in the land.

The developer also claimed that shacks were erected in 2005.

But community representative Masilo Malatjie denied the allegation, saying some of the residents had been living in the area since the 1960s.

"We have graves of our grandfathers and grandmothers there. How could we possibly have come here only three years ago? Where do these graves come from?" he asked.

He vowed that the residents would not leave.

He said there were more than 850 families living in the area.

Rose Mavimbela, 57, a resident said: "It is our land. We can't leave."

The matter will be heard on September 9 in the high court.


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