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Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Pensioner takes revenge on property hijackers

An angry Ga-Rankuwa pensioner has demolished the back rooms in her yard after she was forced out of her RDP house by people claiming they owned the property.

Masabata Maseko who razed back rooms to the RDP house she had occupied after being forced out.

Masabata Maseko said she demolished the back rooms as she had used her savings to build them and would thus not allow anyone to use them.

"I had to move out because the person who wants to move into the house was threatening me. I decided that I would demolish the rooms because they are mine," she said.

Maseko is one of the scores of residents in Ga-Rankuwa's Unit 21 (Masakeng) who have been forced out of their RDP houses.

This is despite assurances from the Tshwane Metro Council last year that it had launched an investigation into the illegal allocation of the houses in the area and other parts of the city.

Several residents in Masakeng were forced out of their houses last year and those still occupying them fear they might also be forced to move.

The residents blamed "corrupt" council officials at the Ga-Rankuwa municipal offices for the mess.

The member of the mayoral committee responsible for housing, Joshua Ngonyama admitted last year that there were problems with the allocation of houses and urged residents to come forward.

Ngonyama said yesterday that he had received affidavits from the affected residents on January 11 and would respond within 10 days.

The affidavits were submitted by DA councillor Simon Motsaneng who, together with his colleague Refiloe Morasi, was assisting the residents.

Motsaneng said the residents approached him after they were forced out of their houses.

"We need the metro council to take urgent steps to assist these residents," he said.

Residents claim council officials "manipulated" the allocation of the houses, resulting in some intended beneficiaries losing out, despite receiving "happy letters", indicating that they were the rightful owners of the houses from council.

Residents claim some occupants of the RDP houses were allocated the houses illegally.

Resident Mudzunga Ramabulana stated in an affidavit submitted to Ngonyama's office that she applied for an RDP house in 2005 and her application was approved the next year.

She later realised that her RDP house had been allocated to another person whois currently occupying it.

Another resident, Jane Kgonodi, said she applied for an RDP house in Zone 15 but was informed that she did not qualify because she stayed in Zone 21 (Masakeng).

According to Kgonodi, she later moved into an RDP house built next to her shack with the blessing of former councillor Neldo Mokoena.

Kgonodi said she was later informed by a council official that she had been allocated an RDP house which she (Kgonodi) was not aware of.

"But I have not occupied the house," said Kgonodi.

Maria Semenya stated that she had moved into the area in 1997 "when there were no houses".

Semenya applied for an RDP house in 2005 and her application was approved in 2006.

According to Semenya, Mokoena promised residents that RDP houses would be built next to their shacks and that they would move in after they were completed.

Semenya said she occupied house number 139 which was built next to her shack.

"I was later informed that I was allocated house number 385 which had been occupied by somebody else who claimed it had been allocated to her by the (local) housing department," she said.

Semenya said the house she was occupying had been allocated to someone else.

Ngonyama said he would launch an investigation into the residents' complaints.

He said he was not aware of the fact that Maseko had demolished the back rooms she had built in her yard. "I will investigate the circumstances leading to this and take appropriate action," said Ngonyama.

Pretoria News

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