Joy as rightful owners of Mamelodi flats move in after waiting years for homes

We’ve covered the ups and downs of the Mamelodi flats extensively. Although we are concerned about the fate of the flat invaders, who remain homeless, it’s good to hear some good news about the rightful owners.

Pretoria – The list of beneficiaries of the new Mamelodi East Extension 5 flats is becoming shorter by the day.

A total of 177 families who had been waiting for houses for up to 20 years ululated and danced as the City of Tshwane handed them the keys to their new houses this week.

The allocation followed the eviction of illegal occupants of the flats on Wednesday. They had occupied the houses since December.

About 500 members of the Red Ants, accompanied by the Tshwane Metro Police Department and other law-enforcement agencies, including the SAPS, carried out the eviction of the occupants. It followed a High Court judgment two weeks ago against the illegal occupants.

While the back room dwellers were being evicted, the beneficiaries of the housing project looked on and rejoiced.

Earlier in the week, the illegal occupants had said they were not intimidated by the court ruling and declared they would not vacate the houses.

They threatened to “hold Mamelodi hostage” and disrupt all business activities if they were to be evicted. But by yesterday, their leaders were nowhere to be found.

The Red Ants have been spending every night at the site since the eviction and will continue to do so until next week. A beneficiary of the project, Onica Molekwa, 66, was almost in tears as she went into her top-floor flat in Block A.

“I can’t believe this blessing. I didn’t sleep last night. I was too excited after housing officials phoned me with the news that I should collect the keys. I’m overjoyed and grateful to the City of Tshwane for this house,” she said. She danced and ululated while holding her house keys.

Her joy summed up the mood for most of the beneficiaries despite the serious damages to the flat such as broken doors and locks, window panes and toilet canisters.

The flats – with two bedrooms, kitchen, toilet and shower – are still incomplete and have no basic services such as electricity meters and running water. Peggy Lekubu, who has been renting a backyard room for years, said she could not wait to bring her family to their new home. “Eish, this is quite unbelievable,” he said. Sphiwe Mabena and her new neighbour were already planning an Easter party.

Most of the beneficiaries said they had waited since 1999 for the houses. City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the allocation would continue until all 252 units had been allocated.

“The Sheriff has arranged that the Red Ants remain on site until the allocation processes have been finalised. They will be supported by Metro Police to ensure the safety of the rightful beneficiaries and officials doing the allocations.

“Human Settlements officials, together with the contractors, are taking stock of the damages incurred as a result of vandalism by the illegal occupants. The fixing and installation of the finishes that were still outstanding will commence as soon as possible.”

Reprinted from the Pretoria News – 2020-02-01

Emphasis/links by SDLAW

Contact us for help with your housing issues

*Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a law firm in Cape Town, now operating in Gauteng and Durban, of specialised eviction attorneys, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our eviction lawyers on +27 (0) 86 099 5146 or if you have been evicted unlawfully.

Further reading:

100 illegal flat invaders evicted

Mamelodi Matimba residents dig in heels

Mamelodi flat invaders defy court eviction order

Red Ants continue to disregard due process of law

Red Ants back on the eviction march as court lifts suspension


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