Category Archives: KwaLanga

Cape Times: Woman loses home to intruder

Woman loses home to intruder

July 18 2012 at 09:32am
By Kwanele Butana

Thandeka Ngcelwane, who suffers from epilepsy, was allocated a government-built temporary house in Langa Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) on June 29. She moved in with her belongings.

However, while she was away from her new home for a few days to visit her brother last week, people broke in and put someone else in the house.

When Ngcelwane returned on Friday she found another woman in her home and her belongings allegedly removed from the house.

This left Ngcelwane homeless because her old shack in Joe Slovo, where she used to stay, had been demolished to make way for a housing development.

According to Cindy Ketani, acting chairwoman of Abahlali baseMjondolo in Langa, it was the local TRA committee which authorised Ngcelwane’s ”illegal eviction”.

However, TRA committee chairman Zukisani Sibunzi denied his committee had a hand in it and said the TRA residents took a decision at a general meeting on Thursday that all vacant houses must be occupied by victims of the 2005 shack fires in Joe Slovo.

Sibunzi said that his committee did not allocate houses but was monitoring the allocation process as well as helping the Housing Development Agency (HDA) officials to contact residents who were relocated to the TRA.

On that evening, a woman moved into Ngcelwane’s house.

Ketani maintained the woman told the local residents, including members of Abahlali baseMjondolo, that she had received permission from the community to occupy the house.

Ketani said Abahlali baseMjondolo was calling for a verification process of all TRA residents to determine whether they were the legal occupants because of a “widespread” illegal sale of houses.

“We have approached the HDA but our phone calls and messages have been continuously ignored even though this is an emergency.

“The HDA seems not to want to address the matter, which could be easily resolved,” said Ketani.

Ngcelwane spends daytime at Ketani’s two-roomed house, but said she sleeps at her brother’s house or at her cousin’s place.

She said she had not been able to get medication from the clinic to treat her epilepsy, because she was overwhelmed by her efforts to get her house back.

Bosco Khoza, an operations manager at HDA, said the matter was “gravely concerning if indeed true”.

The Cape Times has seen the HDA permit issued to Ngcelwane that confirms that her house, unit 59, had been allocated to her.

“Our team will be attending to the matter to ascertain the true status and rectify accordingly,” said Khoza.

He promised to give an update to the Cape Times on Wednesday.

At the time of going to print, Khoza had not replied to questions about the agency’s housing allocation procedure and, specifically, what role the TRA committee played in the allocation of houses in the area.

Attempts to speak to the area’s ward councillor, Mayenzeke Sopaqa, were futile as he did not return messages left by the Cape Times.

The house was locked when the Cape Times visited the area this week, and the woman now living in the home could not be reached for comment on the issue.