Lenasia inspections to start

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IOL nov 26  lawyers lenasia INLSA The Inkatha Freedom Party expressed concern over the proposed demolition of houses in the Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal.File photo: Phill Magakoe

Pretoria -

Assessment of illegally built houses in Lenasia will start this week, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Tuesday.

“The teams are going out (on Wednesday). They have three months,” Sexwale said after a meeting with the Special Lenasia Intervention team in Pretoria.

The team - comprising representatives of communities, the government, the police, and other organisations - was established after the Gauteng housing department demolished about 50 houses a month ago.

The department said it was acting within the law because the houses were illegally built on government land.

Further demolitions were halted following a ruling by the High Court in Johannesburg.

The SA Human Rights Commission took the department to court, calling for demolitions to be stopped so it could investigate whether any human rights were infringed.

Sexwale said the team would conduct audit inspections to see if houses were owned by the department, what the occupants' financial status was, and if the stands were partially developed or vacant.

The teams would also do building inspections on fully developed structures.

This was to verify if building plans were submitted and approved, if the quality of building was up to standard, and to identify poor workmanship.

“Will there be future demolitions? Most probably,” Sexwale said.

He warned that unsafe houses would have to be demolished.

“Those kind of houses built on such land will have to be demolished.”

He said arrests for fraud and corruption had been made and that people were appearing in court on Tuesday. However he could give no further details.

“More arrests will be made,” he said.

“Let me assure you there will be government officials arrested.”

He said government documentation or what looked like government documentation was used to sell these houses, therefore officials were involved.

“That's why the law enforcement agencies are here. Sadly, government officials will be arrested.” - Sapa

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