TENANT kicks out 100-year-old gran

TSHINAKAHO Khavhatondwi, aged 100, is one of South Africa's oldest citizens and should be enjoying her golden years, but the past decade has given her nothing but tears and strife.

TSHINAKAHO Khavhatondwi, aged 100, is one of South Africa's oldest citizens and should be enjoying her golden years, but the past decade has given her nothing but tears and strife.

She lives in a draughty shack in Tshiawelo, Soweto, outside her own house, which she says was hijacked by a tenant.

Khavhatondwi moved to Tshiawelo with her husband in the early 1960s. After her husband died the four-roomed house was transferred to her name.

She lived comfortably with her daughter Emily, her granddaughter Mashutu and her great-granddaughter Nakisane.

But as Khavhatondwi succumbed to the frailties of advancing age, she left the house in Emily's care and returned to Venda.

Emily had no source of income, so in 1998 she allowed Samuel Sithole to build a shack in the yard to earn an income.

That was the beginning of a nightmare for Gogo, as Khavhatondwi is affectionately known in the area.

"I visited my mother in 2000 for about three weeks and asked Sithole to switch on the lights while I was away," said Emily.

When she returned from Venda, "Sithole had built a wall around my house and had moved into the house", she said.

"He demanded that I sell him the house or he would kill me."

Emily feared for her life and fled to a neighbour's house.

"I became worried that Sithole would take Gogo's house, so I built a shack for my daughter in the yard to keep a close eye on him," Emily said.

By 2002 Sithole had put his wife and three children in the house and was renting his old shack for R300.

Emily built two more shacks in the yard and rented them out to make a living.

In 2002 Sithole gave Emily R6000, which she assumed was rent for the years he had occupied the house for free.

But Sithole claims that Gogo and Emily sold him the house for R14000 and the R6000 was the deposit.

"I drove to Venda to seal the deal. I'm shocked that Emily is denying this," Sithole said.

Sithole, a pastor, retired from Transnet a year ago and now shares the house with Emily. She had been living with a neighbour for four years until a lawyer arranged for her to move back into the house two months ago.

The house is registered in Khavhatondwi's name.

On Tuesday night Gogo burst into tears as she described the trauma Sithole and his wife had put her through.

"You are doing this because I don't have a man and you want me to have a heart attack," she told him.

But Sithole remained unmoved. He says he wanted R26000 for the wall he built around the house and for the concrete slab he laid on the property for his vehicle.

"If they give me my money now, I will leave immediately," he said defiantly.

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