Demolition of Lenasia houses will continue – govt
Over 100 houses illegally erected on land owned by the City of Johannesburg will continue to be demolished in Lenasia, the provincial local government and housing department has said.
“We were vindicated by the High Court last week Friday when an urgent application by the residents and those occupying that land was dismissed, as the court agreed we were acting well within our rights by demolishing those houses,” head of the department Mongezi Myani said.
The department would work with the police and Johannesburg metro police to ensure the demolitions went ahead with no disruptions. Officials tearing the houses down had not been intimidated, but safety was a priority.
Last week the department destroyed about 50 houses.
A total of 113 houses will be demolished. They had been illegally built on land intended for government houses. The department said fraudsters had sold plots for between R2 500 and R95 000.
Buyers were apparently issued with fraudulent deeds of sale which had the department’s logo.
The Ecological Movement of SA expressed disappointment at the demolitions.
“How can the Gauteng government claim to be sending a strong message by demolishing houses? Instead, they should be finding ways of ensuring that those who are already there pay services and other necessary fees,” spokesperson Teboho Mashota said today.
Various groups including the SA Human Rights Commission and Congress of SA Trade Unions also criticised the demolitions.
Some home owners claimed they had been living on the properties for over 10 years.
Lenasia residents barricaded roads and burnt tyres last week.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said there were no signs of protest action today.