100 families evicted from Pretoria flats

03/02/2016. The Red Ants evic all residents of RNS Mansions in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

03/02/2016. The Red Ants evic all residents of RNS Mansions in the Pretoria CBD. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Published Feb 4, 2016


Pretoria - Residents of RNS House building in Madiba Street got a rude awakening on Wednesday. About 100 families were turfed out and left to fend for themselves.

The Red Ant Security Relocation & Eviction Services (Red Ants) stormed the building at about 6am and began removing residents’ belongings.

The tenants could do little but look on helplessly as these were carried out of the building.

Residents said the eviction was part of a lengthy battle with the landlord who they have accused of failing to maintain the building.

Ephraim Mathole, a member of the tenants’ committee, told the Pretoria News he did not know why the building was being sealed off and made inaccessible as the high court in Pretoria had granted an order allowing them to stay until their matter was heard on February 9.

“We haven’t had electricity at this building since November last year. We went to the rental tribunal and submitted a list of our problems,” Mathole said.

By doing so, he said, they had hoped for an intervention.

“This building is not maintained and the electricity bills are very high, and we don’t know why.

“We don’t understand why bouncers have now been brought in to evict and harass people when there are no lease agreements or specified rent prices.”

He claimed that they were paying between R800 and R2 000 to live there.

Mathole was speaking outside the building, looking on as people dug through belongings which had been thrown down into the street.

However, the tenants’ legal representative Tuelo Mokgare said an eviction order had been granted on December 1 last year.

He said an agreement was reached between the landlord and tenants. It stipulated that the order would be enforced if tenants failed to pay rent by the 1st of each month.

“I received a message from the landlord’s attorneys saying that they were going to implement the order as some tenants had failed to comply with the agreement,” said Mokgara.

Tenant Tabia Kwenane decried the living conditions in the building and said she did not understand why they were being evicted.

“They arrived here, with no letter to explain why they were kicking us out, and started taking out our belongings,” said Kwenane.

With her 2-year-old daughter on her back, Kwenana said she was particularly concerned about where they would spend last night and what she would feed her daughter.

“Where are we supposed to go? We were not warned about this. Maybe we would have been able to make a plan and moved out before this,” she said.

“The most important thing right now is to find my ID document and my child’s birth certificate.

“I won't be able to do anything without them,” she said, searching through a stack of items.

Another tenant, Walter Mabiza, struggled to gain entry to the building as the Red Ants had blocked the entrance while they made their way up and down the stairs, carrying out mattresses, fridges, cupboards and personal belongings.

A Grade 11 pupil at Langenhoven High School said his grandmother was on the third floor and he wanted to make sure that none of their belongings would go missing and ensure that his gran was fine.

Dressed in his school uniform, the 18-year-old said: “I can’t go to school today. Maybe not even tomorrow, because I don’t know where my grandmother and I are going to be.”

By the end of on Wednesday, some of the tenants were seen sitting on the side of Madiba Street with nowhere to go, while some had already made plans to move.

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Pretoria News

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