Photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Former residents of historic Lady Selborne forcibly relocated in the 1960s and 1970s under apartheid laws long to return home.

The group of 152 want to return to their roots and for the City of Tshwane to honour its promises in this regard.

They are part of the Lady Selborne Concerned Group, which represents the interests of the people who were earlier residents of this township north-west of Tshwane. They have turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

Some of the applicants were born in Lady Selborne, including Hans Ntsoko.

His parents stayed in Lady Selborne from the 1940s to the early 1970s when the last residents had to move under apartheid laws. He was a young boy of about 11 when they were forcefully moved to Ga-Rankuwa.

Other applicants are former tenants or descendants of former residents.

The group said in court papers that during the process of dealing with the land claims regarding Lady Selborne, the City of Tshwane, the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Land Claims commissioner decided to make special land redistribution arrangements for the former occupiers and people with legitimate links to Lady Selborne. This included the opportunity to buy stands in the newly-developed Lady Selborne for R43000 each. They said there was a resolution in this regard, but the City had failed to honour this.

The unhappy group took their complaint to the office of the public protector in 2009, and the outcome of the complaint was a recommendation that the City took urgent remedial steps.

As a result of this, the plaintiffs said they and all other persons who were tenants or occupiers of erven in Lady Selborne were now entitled to buy erven in the new redeveloped Lady Selborne at a price of R43000.

The group said the June 2003 resolution of the City in which it promised to make a number of residential erven in the area available for the allocation of beneficiaries was binding, but the City passed the buck and said it was the Gauteng Land Claims commissioner's responsibility to drive the restitution of land and rights process and to provide a list of beneficiaries to the City.

The matter was stood down yesterday to today to see whether the parties could reach an agreement on these issues. If not, the hearing has been placed on the roll for three weeks and it will mean each of the 152 plaintiffs will testify before Judge Neil Tuchten.

Pretoria News