A resident from Extension 13 in Lenasia attempts to prevent a bulldozer from demolishing an illegally built house. File picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - Some of the Lenasia residents whose illegally-built houses were demolished are reportedly rebuilding them, the Gauteng human settlements department said on Monday.

“The continued construction of houses on illegally-purchased state land presents a careless attitude to the law,” MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said in a statement.

She called on residents to respect the court order and to stop rebuilding the houses. She warned those violating legal agreements that they would face the law.

“Government has kept its commitment to stop further evictions and demolition of houses and we also call upon residents to honour their commitment not to rebuild.”

In November, the Gauteng housing department demolished about 50 houses in Lenasia. It said it was acting within the law because the houses were illegally built on government land.

The plots on which the houses were built were fraudulently sold for amounts ranging from R2500 to R95 000. The buyers were given forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

Mekgwe urged residents to expose the syndicates and criminals behind land invasions.

Earlier this month, a former City of Johannesburg official, Sifiso Handsome Litau, accused of illegally selling state land in Lenasia, was found guilty by the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

In March, Mandla Dlamini, 75, was convicted on two counts of fraud for illegally selling stands and promising to build houses for people in Lenasia and Ennerdale.