Traumatic eviction for single mother

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published May 1, 2017

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A single mother, who was allegedly illegally evicted from the The Parish of Saint Bartholomew in Walmer Estate, says the fact that the home she was evicted from is still vacant “hurts her”.

Single mother Janine Williams, speaking from a hospital bed, says stress landed her in hospital on a few occasions after she and her 17-year-old son were evicted from the property in November last year.

Williams was told her former home would be undergoing renovations for a new tenant who was expected to move in.

An emotional Williams, speaking from Groote Schuur Hospital after being admitted with blood clots, says her situation has been stressful.

“At the moment I live with my daughter and her fiancé’s parents. We sleep on a mattress on the floor in the lounge of their home,” said Williams.

“It has been really tough because we do not have a room to go to when we want our own space and it feels as if we are invading their space. When we were evicted from the parish home, I was not given a reason why I was being evicted and no help was offered to help seek alternative accommodation after I served and lived on those grounds for 20 years,” she said.

Williams said she was not given an alternative when asked why she had to leave when receiving the eviction notice.

“The priest, who was new at the time, just told me that the church needed more money and needed to get a new tenant. But if they wanted to increase my rent I would have paid - I never had a problem paying my rent,” she says.

Despite “living out of a suitcase”, Williams says she and her son are grateful for a roof over their heads.

“But when my daughter marries, the arrangement will then have to change again and finding property is really difficult,” she added.

Bishop of Table Bay Reverend Garth Counsell did not respond to numerous calls and text messages seeking comment.

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