Sowetan: Shack dwellers told to get ‘out’

Shack dwellers told to get ‘out’

08 August 2008
Katlego Moeng

A Soweto man who applied for a RDP house in 1996 is now being threatened with eviction from his shack in Soweto’s Doornkop informal settlement.

Moses Sibeko, 37, has repeatedly renewed his RDP application and is also registered on the housing department’s demand database.

On Friday, the word “OUT” was painted on Sibeko’s shack. He was not at home and officials from the local municipal office told his wife that they must leave within two months.

The couple have four children. The eldest is aged eight.

Sibeko said: “This is happening because some of us refused to pay bribes to Mavis Sebeko, the woman in charge.”

Local councillor, Joyce Rakgetla, confirmed that Sebeko is in charge of administration at the Doornkop office, but said she does not know anything about Sebeko soliciting bribes.

Sowetan visited Doornkop yesterday to hear residents’ grievances.

Anna Mfulo, 70, who struggles to walk, is Sibeko’s neighbour. Her shack also has the words “OUT” written on it. She has been living there for 16 years with her daughter, who died recently.

“That woman [Sebeko] does not care. She is rude and aggressive. She was here last week harassing us, saying she wants us gone.

“Where must I go?” asked a despondent Mfulo.

Sifiso Buthelezi, 31, and Eliah Letele, 35, also told similar stories of harassment and intimidation. They both have documents showing they have upgraded their status on the department’s demand database.

“Despite this, Sebeko told us that we must leave.

“She does not explain anything, only says that she has the power,” said the men.

Attempts to get comment from Sebeko were unsuccessful.