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Housing department in court over demolitions

Crime & Courts

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing is expected to respond on Thursday to an interdict brought by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) about the demolition of Lenasia houses.

The matter would be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg.

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989 08.11.2012 Sipho Dlamini, scramble through on what used to be his house in Lenasia. Dlamini and other residents lost their belonging as the Department of housing officials accompanied by members of the police demolished houses that were build on illegal land in Lenasia, south of Gauteng. Picture: Itumeleng English

The SAHRC filed an application on Monday calling for an urgent interdict preventing the demolition.

The court ordered the commission to file answering affidavits by noon on Wednesday.

The bulldozing of the houses began last Thursday. The housing department said the land the houses were built on was meant for government housing.

About 50 houses have been destroyed so far and another 113 have yet to be demolished.

The plots on which the houses were built were apparently fraudulently sold for amounts ranging from R2 500 to R95 000. The buyers were given forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

The department said it was acting in line with the law. - Sapa

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