Shariefa Khan is among the claimants of District Six that will finally move back to the area. Picture: Supplied.
Shariefa Khan is among the claimants of District Six that will finally move back to the area. Picture: Supplied.

Forcefully removed, Shariefa Khan, 100, can go back home to D6

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published Jun 19, 2021

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Cape Town - It has been more than 50 years since Shariefa Khan, was forcibly removed from District Six.

Khan, who is now 100 years-old, is one of the claimants who signed papers for their new houses in District Six.

During the removals, she moved to Rylands, where she stayed most of her life.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, announced the allocation of the 108 dwellings to previously dispossessed people.

Khan’s daughter, Sumaya Mukuddem, who stays with her, said her mother had no idea she was going to sign papers which would allow her to stay in the area she loves so much.

“She was very surprised when she signed papers of her house, she was excited and emotional at the same time,” said Mukuddem.

She said Khan’s emotions were very high because they were moved from the area a very long time ago and, it has always been her wish to go back.

Mukuddem said they were told to come back next week Thursday, when her mother would be getting the keys to her house.

She said they had an opportunity to view the house and her mother loved it; however they had some concerns.

“Everything is fine in the house, except for the bathroom, because it is not wheelchair friendly and we were told we’ll need to fix that ourselves,” she added.

This announcement was the third phase of the District Six Redevelopment Project, and in the previous phase, 139 claimants received new homes.

The department said in a statement, a portion of the returning claimants are the originally dispossessed individuals who applied for special needs.

The statement read the criteria used to determine who benefits, were those who were originally dispossessed, the elderly, the sick and those who are most impoverished.

According to the statement, since there are more than 1 000 claimants who opted for houses, further redevelopment phases will ensue, and the construction of the remaining units will be carried out in two major building projects, to be completed in 2024, when all remaining claimants will be accommodated.

The statement said the houses in phase three consist of a mix of apartments and row houses that have been built along the original street network of District Six.

The District 6 Working Committee (D6WC), which took the department to court to speed up the District Six restitution process, said they are pleased to hear that the 108 housing units as part of Phase 3 of the restitution process, are currently being allocated to eligible claimants and that 100-year-old Khan is amongst the returnees – however, it still had some concerns about the process.

D6WC appealed for greater transparency and clarity on the phase three process from the Department and the Land Claims Office, who have still not issued the list of successful claimants under phase three.

Weekend Argus

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