The Chikane homestead in Soweto. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)
The Chikane homestead in Soweto. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)

Chikane family home feud as sister alleges brothers sold home without consultation

By Amanda Maliba Time of article published Jun 28, 2020

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An unemployed and destitute Soweto mother of three is accusing her two brothers, one of whom is a struggle veteran the Reverend Frank Chikane, of rendering her homeless, although the family home in Tladi, Soweto, was left to all her siblings including herself, she says.

Thabile Chikane says she is the third-born daughter of the late James Mashi and Sophania Erenia Chikane among six other siblings, who include the Reverend Chikane and their last born brother Kgotso Chikane, said to be the new owner of the family home that he bought in 2004 at market value, according to the Reverend.

According to Thabile, the house was refurbished by Kgotso to the value of about R2-million rand, right after her other brother Abbey had made some renovations. But Kgotso then bulldozed the structure and made way for his ‘dramatic reconstructions’, she adds.

Thabile is adamant that their parents left the home to all their children, not only to Kgotso. “It breaks my heart to know that I am subjected to being homeless because of my brothers, who are denying me a home. And yet, our parents left us one,” says Thabile.

“What also breaks my heart the most is that today, those very brothers who fought against the apartheid government and its laws that impoverished my parents who died humiliated with their dignity stripped from them, will be the reason why their sister will be homeless.

“These very brothers are taking away the only inheritance our parents left for us, the family house at Tladi. They are taking away the only wealth they left for us,” she laments.

Asked for comment, Reverend Chikane confirmed that the house is now owned by Kgotso Chikane and that he had signed cheques for each sibling as per the will's requirements.

“I am surprised that you are pursuing a matter of a house that was disposed of sixteen (16) years ago,” he said. “For your information, the house of our parents in Tladi was disposed of years ago in 2004 after the passing away of our mother (the last of our parents).

“Its disposal was executed strictly in terms of her will. Accordingly, there can be no conflict about a Chikane Family house, as that was disposed of 16 years ago. She (Thabile) got the documentation relating to the execution of the will like all her siblings at that time. I thus do not understand why she is raising this matter now,” he says.

But a recent property report by Lightstone Property - dated 2020/04/10 and in the hands of Thabile, shows that the house in question is still registered under James Mashi and Sophania Erenia Chikane.

Asked why this is so, Rev Chikane points out that Kgotso’s lawyers are still “dealing with the issue of transfer of ownership,” and are, therefore, the only ones who can answer the question of why the house is still in their parents' names.” But Kgotso Chikane couldn't be reached for comment.

The feud between the siblings started right after the death of their mother in 2004 when the house was sold allegedly without Thabile’s consent, she says, but admits to having accepted a R2 000 cheque as her “share” from the sale.

But she started asking questions about the amount of the cheque and her brothers told her that their actions were in line with their mother's wishes in terms of the will that she left when she died. When she asks to see the will, her brothers are not producing it, which makes her very suspicious, she alleges.

Thabile says she finds herself in a difficult situation and in need of shelter following her divorce. She has used up all her savings to pay rent and for school fees for her daughters. But now she has nowhere to go and is desperate to access the Chikane family home.

“I really am not looking for anything else, but access to the house. I am in desperate need of shelter for myself and my daughters,” she says.

Sunday Independent

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