Hope for pensioner in fight with flat owners

Crime & Courts

Pretoria - A pensioner who went to court to halt the refurbishment of a block of flats in Sunnyside where she is a tenant could soon find herself in a new home.

Discussions are under way between 77-year-old Maria Theresia Peter’s legal representatives and Comocap Proprietary Ltd, which bought the Indwe block of flats in Relly Street, Sunnyside.

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Maria Peter who ownes a flat at Indwe in Sunnyside where there is an attempt to force her out because she would not sell and the units are being refurbished. 
Picture: Etienne Creux11.1.2013
Indwe flats in Sunnyside where there is an attempt to force an old lady out because she would not sell and the units are being refurbished. 
Picture: Etienne Creux

The company’s development director, Manie Kriek,

declined to provide details, saying only “it will hopefully be resolved today”.

Peter’s legal representative, Boris Savvas, said on Monday they were looking at finding alternative accommodation for the pensioner.

Savvas said his client was reluctant to move.

“But we will look at an improved offer,” he said.

Peter turned to the Pretoria High Court on Friday, seeking an order prohibiting Comocap from continuing with construction work.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba ruled that work to refurbish the building should be stopped until the matter “is properly ventilated to all the tenants”.

Peter stated in her affidavit that her home and habitat were being destroyed by Comocap and the body corporate of Sectional Scheme Indwe.

The parties had agreed to the sale of the block of flats for an estimated R10 million and it was stated that “it was each owner’s choice if he/she wished to sign the offer to purchase”.

According to the buyers, the owners who did not sign the offer to purchase would owe them between R80 000 and R100 000 for the improvements made to the building.

According to Peter, the security of her home and habitat “has been destroyed and placed at the mercy of the elements”.

“These actions are, I am advised, apart from their obvious reprehensibility, illegal as well as unconstitutional,” said Peter.

She added that she lived alone, with no family or friends.

She said the building was being taken apart by the respondents, Comocap and the body corporate, “to the extent that I am being deprived of my rights of habitation and expropriated of my rights to my home and property”.

Peter added that she had not agreed to or authorised the sale of the building or any part of it.

She said her physical infirmities were one of many primary reasons she had for not wanting to leave.

“My flat is next to the lift shaft and I am able to shuffle home without suffering more than is necessary. I cannot move without pain,” Peter said.

“Another reason is that I have established my home and do not believe that for the paltry sum that is being offered I will be able to find other accommodation suitable to me.”

According to the trustees’ report for the period February 1, 2011 to July 31 last year, the amount in outstanding levies, and interest, increased from R1.6m in January 2011 to R2.9m in July last year.

The levies for 16 of Indwe’s 40 flats are paid up to date. Regular monthly payments are received for only 25 of Indwe’s 40 flats and irregular payments are received for eight of the 40 flats. No payment has been received from seven tenants.

The report said the deterioration in the building was “cause for great concern”. No maintenance work could be done in 2011 and last year.

“Only urgent repair work could be done,” the report stated.

Pretoria News

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