Evicted by titled Albanian

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Four families have been dumped on the pavement with their belongings near Erasmia, Pretoria, after being evicted by the new owner of the farm.

The families were shocked when the new owner, an honorary consul-general from Albania in southeastern Europe, called in the Red Ants to help kick them off the farm.

The new owner does not stay on the farm, which is guarded by two security men.

The houses belonging to the evicted families have been razed to the ground.

The families said they had not been served with any eviction notices.

Some of them said they have been living on the farm for almost 60 years and have nowhere to go.

Margaret Ngcobo, 57, said she had lived on the farm for more than 41 years.

"I do not understand why the new owner would do something like this. We do not have anywhere to go now," she said.

Four families are now living in thick grass on the side of the main road to Pretoria West.

The families have been sleeping there for the past six days without shelter.

Ngcobo said the previous owner of the farm, Pokie Coert Steynberg, had been selling his farm in parts to different people.

Neither Steynberg nor the new owner could be reached for comment.

Jane Pooe, one of those evicted from the farm, said: "I cannot understand why the new owner would just throw us in the streets. If he wanted us off his farm he should have first found us alternative accommodation.

"Now the street has become our home. We cook in the street, we sleep there and we have not been washing for the past six days because we do not have water."

The four families also claim that they have been to the nearby Erasmia police station for help but the police told them there was nothing they could do for them as this was a government matter.

Local councillors visited the destitute families on Wednesday and told them to stay there while they sought help.

"They promised to bring us some water, food and tents but they have not come back," said Jane Mcube, 48.

The families thanked members of the public who have given them emotional support and provided them with food and water.

"We might still be sleeping in the street but the support we have been getting from some people really means a lot to us," said Ngcobo.