The Umvoti (Greytown) local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal has demolished houses, mainly mansions, which it said were illegally built on its land.
The Umvoti (Greytown) local municipality in the KZN Midlands has demolished houses built on illegally occupied land belonging to it. The houses were built in Ebovini just outside the town of Greytown. The municipality says the owners defied court orders and built the houses. pic.twitter.com/N7aJlMRTzN— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) October 8, 2023
The houses were built on a farm called Ebovini (Townland farm) just outside the town of Greytown when a local headman, Moses Magoso Zakwe and his group sold and allocated plots to several buyers.
When that started, scores of people who appeared to be well-off started snatching the land and building their houses.
The municipality dashed to the Pietermaritzburg High Court to stop the invasion and Zakwe and the alleged invaders legally fought back.
In the final legal battle, the municipality won the battle against the Bomvini Community Land Invaders and Zakwe when the court ordered that the invasion be halted - but that fell on deaf ears.
The municipality then went ahead to enforce the order and demolished the 8 houses that had already been erected.
One of the demolished houses was a mansion with four bedrooms, a large living room, and a garage and it was at the roofing stage.
In one video which was recorded during the demolition early this week and shared with IOL, the TLB that was sent to put it down started with the expensive roof.
In the video, the Mayor of Umvoti, Philani PG Mavundla who is also the president of the deeply divided ABC (Abantu Batho Congress) was seen giving directions to the driver.
Mavundla confirmed the demolitions to IOL, saying the homeowners were instructed by the Pietermaritzburg High Court to halt their building process.
“They are people who started allocating themselves municipal land.
“These houses were forcefully built on municipal land by people who do not respect the law and who think they are above the law,” Mavundla said.
He added that the matter has been “politicised” by some who have been found on the wrong side of the law.
“I know that this matter has now become political, but the reality is that all court orders that were issued to stop this were never respected,” Mavundla added.
Efforts to locate some of the owners of the demolished were unsuccessful.