Residents from Ext.13 Lenasia protest at the site of an illegally built house after it was demolished by a bulldozer.091112. Picture: Chris Collingridge 204

Johannesburg - Lenasia residents packed the High Court in Gauteng on Friday to hear arguments about the demolitions of their illegally-built homes.

Women made up the majority of residents waiting to hear the case involving the Gauteng housing department and the SA Human Rights Commission.

The commission, representing the residents, was expected to argue that human rights were violated when the demolitions started two weeks ago. The department said the houses were built on government-owned land which was sold illegally. Buyers were given forged deeds of sale bearing the department's logo.

Clutching handbags, arms folded across their chests, women affected by the demolitions discussed land, the demolitions and other matters related to their properties.

Residents who had arrived early for court proceedings and secured seats waited patiently. Others stood at the back of the court or along the sides.