Nyanga house ‘stolen’

Phumza Tsholeka with the documentation she says proves her ownership of a house that someone else has occupied.

A Nyanga woman is battling to get back her RDP house after she found someone else had moved into it.

Phumza Tsholeka said that after finding someone living in her house, she went to investigate and found a woman who said she had bought it for
R75 000 but had paid R10 000.

“Strangely she came in without our knowledge. I tried to find out from her how she got the keys and why is she in the house, but she was too rude. She told me it was her house even though I showed her every piece of paper I have of the house,” she said.

The White City resident now stays a street away from her house.

She said she had tried all avenues to get her house back, but nothing had worked.

Ms Tsholeka said she had gone to the street committees, the police and even the court but nobody had been able to help her.

“The street committees told me they are scared of her because she was rude. They wrote me a letter to give it to the police, which the police told me means nothing to them. I was then referred to Philippi court by the police. The court referred me to legal aid offices in Athlone. That was it. I never heard from them again,” she said.

She said she thought the law would be able to forcibly evict the woman from her house. “The law is failing me here. At least they should call us in to hear our stories or the best way we should both produce the

the title deed. But all I get is vague answers,” she said holding the title deed letter.

Vukani went to the house on Friday August 11 but the woman was not at home.

When we called on Monday August 14, she said she was on her way to work. But this reporter made an arrangement to see her over the weekend. She suggested Sunday August 20.

On Sunday when we called she said she was busy. She later responded by saying we could write the story the way Ms Tsholeka conveyed it.

In the meantime, Ms Tsholeka, will continue to hold a piece of paper that shows that she owns the house which she cannot access.

According to the ProBono organisation, under the circumstances, the owner of the property, Ms Tsholeka, has the legal right to evict an unlawful occupier of the house.

The legal organisation said from the facts given by this newspaper, it seems as though there never was any lease signed nor was there an agreement between the parties to occupy the property.

According to Uzair Adams, ProBono regional manager, Ms Tsholeka should initiate eviction proceedings.

If Ms Tsholeka is in fact the owner of the property she should initiate eviction proceedings out of the court in which jurisdiction the house is situated in.

“This process is initiated first by way of a notice to vacate. Should the occupier and all those holding title under her not evict within the time period stipulated in the notice, a notice of motion in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act may be drafted and issued,” he said.

He said if the facts are as clear- cut as stated by Ms Tsholeka, the magistrate could proceed to issue an eviction order.

He said the eviction order is sent to the sheriff and the sheriff is instructed to evict the unlawful occupiers.

He added that the assistance of the police will only become necessary if the sheriff suspects some form of danger.