House dispute turns ugly

By Zodidi Dano and Natasha Prince Time of article published Jul 22, 2013

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Cape Town - Nine people were arrested on Sunday on charges of public violence following the illegal occupation of a housing project in Eerste River.

The group faced off with the police who fired rubber bullets to disperse the group at a public meeting in a park in the area.

Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said the people who had taken over the Our Pride housing project (on Saturday evening) should “come to terms with the fact that they do not qualify to get ownership of the houses”.

The group, from Gugulethu and Eerste River, disputed this, saying they had erf numbers.

The group’s representative, Bulelwa Makile, said they had been given the run-around whenever they asked authorities about the project and when they could move in. “So we decided to occupy the houses and then the police came and told us to leave.”

On Sunday morning a meeting was held in the park. The police arrived and told the group to disperse. Officers opened fire with rubber bullets when they refused to leave. Lefa Sekholomi was hit on his arm, head and leg.

Makile said the group was willing to pay for the houses, or work on a “rent to buy” contract, but they needed the authorities to liaise with them.

Madikizela said that even though people qualified for the homes when the project was initiated in 2001, circumstances had changed and they now no longer did so.

He said residents had been informed that their applications would not be granted if they did not qualify.

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Cape Argus

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