The community of Phumula Gardens in the East Rand, Johannesburg, believes that an injury to one is an injury to all, they have taken a harsh stance against the evictions.
Residents say the evictions have been happening since the year 2000.
The residents of Phumula Gardens in the City Ekurhuleni Metropolitan met on Sunday, 14 April 2019, to discuss service delivery in their community, the biggest issue being that of evictions, which they say happen every day to members of their community. They fear that they will all be victims of this syndicate.
The furious members of the community went to all the houses they believe have been “hijacked” and removed the current occupants, who claim to have bought the properties. Residents find it very strange that one property can be owned by two people.
The former occupants of the house claim that the current occupants bought the house from property agents after it was being advertised in the media. The 44-year-old mother of two was forcefully removed from the house two weeks ago by a heavily armed group, who were escorted by police.
Constable Elvis Mkhize told Political Analysis South Africa that it was very suspicious that the police from Springs escorted the group to evict someone, as that is not their mandate. “The mandate of the [South African Police Service] is to protect the people as well as the property, we are not there to serve private needs of individuals, hence I am also appalled by hearing that police came to evict another family. What also become an issue is jurisdiction, we don’t expect police from Springs this side of Germiston,” said Constable Mkhize.
The community went on to remove an African National Congress (ANC) community leader, Buyisile Ngomane, from the house he has lived in for more than seven years now. The community had decided to put Ngomane, also known as “Mandela”, in the property because criminals previously used it for their activities. His belongings were taken outside the yard.
Thandi Maseko is a pensioner who says the community is wrong to evict Mandela because he has been assisting them to ensure that the house is well looked after as the owner of the house passed on many years ago and had no relatives.
“We have a huge problem here in Phumula when it comes to property and that problem is caused by the government, all our houses are owned by two people. That is so because the government allocated our houses to other people claiming that they are the RDP houses while we are paying Standard Bank for mortgage bond,” said Maseko.
The community promises to take harsher actions if anyone else is evicted from their houses going forward.