Backyard dwellers from Mamelodi demonstrate outside the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, where an application for their eviction was being heard. Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Despite the Department of Human Settlements having obtained a court order to evict Mamelodi backyard dwellers illegally occupying flats in Nellmapius last year, the residents have occupied more flats in the area.

Following the court order, the Red Ants pounced on the 500 illegal residents who were occupying the flats along Solomon Mahlangu Drive.

The department approached the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday in a bid to get yet another court order to evict the dwellers from the recently occupied Extension 5 flats.

Despite this, the residents yesterday vowed that they would not budge and declared “they did what needed to be done”.

They carried placards with messages clearly stating that they were not moving out, while chanting and dancing outside the court during the brief proceedings.

The case, heard in the Palace of Justice, was postponed to tomorrow.

The flats, which can be seen along Solomon Mahlangu Drive, have two bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, toilet and shower.

And although the units are without taps or basic services such as electricity meters and running water, occupants said it was better than living in a crowded yard with parents.

Despite the eviction, they have moved back in and invaded even more flats.

One of the leaders, Sipho Malaza, yesterday said they forcefully occupied the new flats in December because they could not wait any longer for the City to allocate the houses.

In addition, he complained that Mamelodi residents were not getting first preference for the units, and that “outsiders” and people who recently registered for houses were inclined to live in them.

He said people from other provinces were occupying what rightfully belonged to the people of Mamelodi.

“We are sick and tired of the system that the department is using to allocate people into the RDP houses.

“We have been waiting for many years for their help, being promised that we will get assistance but it is not happening. Instead they are pushing corruption,” he said.

He said there were people who have been waiting for houses for almost three decades.

“There are people from 1994 who are registered to get houses, but they are still waiting, yet you have people who registered between 2009 and 2015 who have houses and we are surprised by that.

“We forcefully occupied the houses illegally because we were promised in 2016 that all the backyard dwellers would be allocated houses.”

Pretoria News