Man dies as Schubart Park flats ransacked

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iol news pic Schubart Park flats

Independent Newspapers Limited

The Constitutional Court gave Schubart Park back to it's residents. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - A man fell to his death during continued plundering of the Schubart Park flats in Pretoria, Beeld reported on Monday.

Theft of fittings, cupboards, geysers, and pipes out of the buildings, in central Pretoria, had been going on for weeks.

On Thursday night a man believed to have been involved in the stealing fell nine floors to his death, Tshwane metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba told the newspaper.

“He and other people in the building were involved in an argument. He probably lost his balance and fell,” he was quoted as saying.

The man, in his 30s, had not been identified as he had no documentation on him.

People had been seen carrying pipes, kitchen cupboards and geyers out of the flats. During a metro police raid on the flats on December 2, two people were arrested and about 30 ran away.

The City of Tshwane evicted residents from the flats in September 2011 as they had become unfit for habitation. Residents then unsuccessfully approached the High Court in Pretoria seeking an urgent court order against the city. The order would have allowed them to re-occupy the complex.

The court dismissed their application, but ordered the municipality to offer alternative accommodation.

Following a drawn-out court battle, the Constitutional Court ruled last year that Tshwane had removed the residents illegally. The court ordered the city and the residents to “engage meaningfully with one another and to report to the high court on their progress”.

Facilitator of the negotiations between Tshwane and the displaced residents, Frank Chikane, told reporters in October that significant progress had been made in finding alternative shelter.

He said the Schubart Park buildings would be refurbished and turned into “a modern day mixed development precinct” including both social housing and rental stock to cater for the returning residents.

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