Sisters lose case in spat over city council house, being rented by nephew and his wife

Sisters lose case in spat over city council house, being rented by nephew and his wife. file picture

Sisters lose case in spat over city council house, being rented by nephew and his wife. file picture

Published May 22, 2024


Cape Town - Two sisters who brought a Western Cape High Court application against the City of Cape Town and the Deeds Office in a bid to stop their nephew and his wife from leasing or purchasing a council house in Manenberg, have had their case dismissed with costs.

The sisters, Anna Booysen, who has lived at the property since 2007 after moving out in 2000, and Veronica Booysen, who has never lived at the residence, argued that their female sibling had tenancy since 1984 before her passing, claiming ownership of the property in that their mother had been the first tenant.

The City had leased the property to the sisters’ female sibling since 1984.

Judge Judith Cloete said in her findings handed down yesterday, that the Booysens’ nephew, Anthony Booysen and his wife, Charmaine Booysen, had lived at the property the longest – since 1999 – as backyard dwellers and had made a housing application (to the City) in 2005.

After the sister’s passing in 2017, the nephew was granted an opportunity by the City to make an application for the purchase of the property or for his lease to be extended and to move into the main house.

Judge Cloete told the sisters that the house remained the property of the City, according to the Deeds office.

She indicated that both sisters had failed to make similar applications or representations to that of their nephew, who was employed and had two minor children.

“The report of the second respondent (Registrar of Deeds) confirms that the property remains registered in the name of the City,” the judgment reads.

“The lease in question has an effective commencement date of April 8, 2019, and its addendum records that for purposes thereof the date of occupation by the third and fourth respondents was April 6, 2017.”

During the judge’s findings she read a portion of Anna Booysen’s affidavit in which she stated that she had learnt via a neighbour that the property was to be leased and sold to her nephew, and claimed it was their property as beneficiaries.

“It is also at this time that we were told by a Mr Mayekiso that this house does not belong to us, but instead belongs to the City of Cape Town and they can do whatever they want to with their property,” the affidavit read.

“We were shocked and we informed him we knew the property belonged to us as beneficiaries since we were the children of our mother who had passed away.”

The family went on to seek help via human settlements and learnt that the property was leased and would be sold to the nephew and his wife.

The judge ruled, based on a delay by the applicants, and due to the period of tenancy of the nephew, who had lived the longest at the residence, and dismissed their application.

“Accordingly, on the City’s version: neither applicant had filed a housing application in respect of the property when the third respondent’s application was approved; and sadly in the circumstances, the applicants have no entitlement to the property as ‘beneficiaries’ of their late mother who passed away in 2000,” Judge Cloete said.

The City said in response: “The application from the applicants was dismissed on Monday, May 20.”

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Cape Argus