Scores of East London families evicted from occupied RDP houses

JUNE 27 2019 Evictions continued on the East Bank under heavy police watch as families were removed from RDP houses Picture ALAN EASON

Two hundred more East London families were left homeless after they were evicted from the RDP houses they had illegally occupied in Vergenoeg township on Thursday.

The early morning “ejection” at Fynbos 2, East Bank, comes a day after 300 Fynbos 1 families were evicted from the government sponsored houses by the sheriff of the East London high court, Buffalo City Metro Law Enforcement, private security guards and Public Order Police on Wednesday.

The evictions come two months after Buffalo City Metro (BCM) managers obtained a court order to evict the families for illegally occupying the RDP homes for more than a year.

BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the judgment was passed on April 18, nine months after BCM lodged an urgent court interdict on July 26 2018.

A strong team of private security guards, who included tavern bouncers and professional rugby players overseen by public order police, stormed houses, smashed locked doors and threw out furniture.

Ngwenya said the move was necessary as the invaders were stumbling blocks to housing backlog solutions.

“The [illegal] occupiers have unlawfully dispossessed BCMM of these properties / houses. Thus BCMM is entitled to restoration of these houses under mandament van spolie [also known as the spoliation remedy], which is a speedy remedy intended to return the possession of the property to the rightful owner and to end lawlessness,” he said.

Ngwenya said: “BCMM is faced with a backlog in the provision of houses to qualifying residents, and is chasing a moving target as people migrate and settle in the city looking for better opportunities.”

Ngwenya said it had not needed to get to this stage of dramatic eviction, but invaders had refused to vacate houses.

“In all the above legal proceedings, the unlawful Fynbos houses occupiers were individually advised to vacate the houses and were given reasonable notices to do so.”

In cases of locked doors, the Dispatch saw the eviction team smashing them, removing furniture, before proceeding to the next house.

Furniture was left strewn in front of houses.

Grandmother of three, Verushka Plaaitjies, 42, called on EFF leader Julius Malema to come to East London and rescue them from the “brutal” ANC government.

“For me Julius Malema cares about the poor and does a lot. The ANC does nothing.”

Ward 10 sub-committee member, Olga O’Neill, said coloured families were left with no choice but to invade the homes in July last year after only 10 coloured people appeared on the beneficiary list of 572 people.

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