Families left out in the cold as houses are demolished

Lungani Zungu

About 30 families have been left stranded after a local businessman allegedly demolished their homes, claiming they were built on his land. 

Distraught resident Christopher Ngidi who lives in one of the houses in Tongaat, KZN said he has stayed in the house for about 20 years.

“I don’t know where I will stay. I’m unemployed and I don’t have money to build a house somewhere else,” he told Scrolla.Africa.

He shared the house with his mother, Mavis Ngidi, who died in 2014. Ngidi said they were given the plot of land by its owner who died many years ago.

“We always lived here. This is the house where we shared memories,” he said.

“Now the owner of nearby land claimed that we built our houses on his land.”

Ngidi said the new owner, whom he only knew as Mr Govender, did not provide them with an eviction order.

Resident Nhlanhla Mncwabe said: “We have tried to negotiate with the person who is demolishing our homes but he won’t talk to us.”

Mncwabe said the man was claiming land that fell outside of his plot.

“We have told him we would go if he produces an eviction letter but he can’t do it because he’s claiming land that doesn’t belong to him,” said Mncwabe.

Govender declined to comment. Any further attempts to reach him were unsuccessful as his phone went to voicemail. He also did not respond to questions sent to him by SMS.

Ward councillor Zanele Khumalo said she has set up a meeting with residents for Monday next week.

“I want to try and find a solution to this matter urgently,” she said.