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Monday Dec 15, 2014

Woman in RDP house row 'is alive'

Mama Maria Ramalekane wants her family, friends and relatives to know she is still alive despite allegedly being declared dead by an old friend she accused of unlawfully taking her Lotus Garden RDP house.

The 58-year-old told the Pretoria News she had been away and sick for a long time, but was now back to prove she was alive and to claim her house back so she could transfer it to its new owner.

Before getting sick, Ramalekane gave the title deed for the property to her friend Eunice Ndlovu for safekeeping.

Ramalekane said she sold the house to Anna Chauke, who immediately moved in. She fell sick before changing the title deed holder.

Chauke paid R7 500 for the house and has a receipt, affidavit and witness letters to prove her claim.

She has been evicted twice by Ndlovu but moved back in as she had nowhere else to go.

Ndlovu is alleged to have used a power of attorney obtained under the pretext that Ramalekane had died to change the ownership of the property.

Ramalekane said: "I am very much alive and want my house back to transfer it to Chauke, who paid the money I asked for it."

In the eviction application, Ndlovu claimed Ramalekane was her cousin. Ramalekane denied this and said they were just friends.

The new titled deed registered in March 2004 listed Ndlovu as the rightful owner of the house and says that it was donated to her by Ramalekane.

Further, Ndlovu declared she was living with her mother and four other people and was required to pay R500 rent, which she could not afford.

In the deed of transfer, attorneys indicated they had power of attorney granted by Ramalekane.

But Ramalekane said she did not assign any power of attorney to Ndlovu or anyone else.

Ramalekane suspected Ndlovu obtained the power of attorney fraudulently after forging her signature.

She also denied donating the house to Ndlovu, who is in possession of an eviction order to boot Chauke out of the property.

The house has no basic services such as water and electricity as a result of unpaid municipal bills of more than R100 000.

In the high court application, Ndlovu insisted she was the new owner of the property.

Further, she claimed that the R7 500 paid by Chauke was a loan and not for the sale of the property.

"I spoke to Chauke and we came to an agreement that if I paid her the money she would move out.

"Later, she refused to honour her part of the deal," Ndlovu stated in the court papers.

Ramalekane said she would approach the court in a bid to acquire a copy of the power of attorney used by Ndlovu.

She also wants to officially declare that she is alive.

Chauke said she wanted the property to be registered in her name so that she could open a municipal rates and taxes and service accounts and live a normal life.

Councillor for the area Simon Motsaneng described the turn of events as unfair to needy people who had been on the housing waiting list since 1996.

"Ramalekane got the house and a year and a few months later sold it to Chauke without a title deed, and if Ndlovu is to be believed, donated it to her as well.

"If an investigation was done after I reported this matter, the discrepancies would have been uncovered and the house reallocated to rightful beneficiaries," he added.

Pretoria News


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