Extension 6 residents in Soshanguve are demanding compensation for their houses which were demolished recently during a land invasion operation.
Tasked to execute the demolition operation were, The South African Police Services, Tshwane Metro Police, Public Order Policing Units, the Sheriff, Blackwater Afrique Du Sud, as well as TSSS Security.
In their desperate plea to have their demands met, the affected Soshanguve residents took to the streets, burning tyres and also throwing stones at passing cars, torching a number of vehicles in the process and also injuring some people in the protest.
One of the residents who were part of the protest blasted the police for the way they handled the matter, further adding that as a result the residents lost all their valuable belongings.
“There was nothing we could do. We were even chased by police officers. We have lost so much. Our beds, televisions and basically everything,” he said.
According to one of the eviction companies, an Order of Ejectment was enacted upon a property in Soshanguve and a court order was sought and granted for the demolition of property which was on a private land illegally.
Tshwane metro police department spokesperson (TMPD) Nonhlanhla Mgiba said the premises were private property.
“A court order was obtained in 2019 and TMPD was only escorting the Sheriff to carry out the court order.”
From Blackwater Afrique Du Sud, Karl Venter who was a key role player in the execution of the demolition operation, provided clarity on the background, surrounding the issue, the execution and the operation.
He emphasized that they did not just wake up and decided to go and demolish people’s property, it was something that was well communicated in time with the residents in question.
“We are not monsters, we don’t decide at 5h00 in the morning that now we are going to take and bunch of people and throw them out. This action started in the early 2020 when people have started to demarcate land and also started to sell land that actually belongs to a Trust and not the people who were selling these stands,” said Venter.
He further emphasized that despite numerous attempts to get the people not to build their houses on the private land, their attempts were fruitless as people eventually decided to build houses even though the court order and interdict prevented them from doing so.
Venter also urged people to refrain from buying properties which they did not have title deeds to as the consequences could be devastating to the buyers.
“Firstly, never ever buy property that you do not have a title deed for. I cannot go and buy a vehicle if I do not have the registration documents, so when you buy property make sure that the owner of that property is the person selling property to you. Make sure that you have a title deed. As soon as the Sheriff comes there and gives you a court order, adhere to the court order. It’s unfortunately going to cost you a thousand rands to try and stop a court order, and 90 percent of the time, it is not possible. The land owner here, owned the land since early 1970s, so the chances of the court saying, you know what, take the land, it’s yours, you have paid for it, while you have paid for it to a criminal, the court will not allow it. What I would highly recommend to anyone that had a property or had land here, go to the police station, open up a criminal case of fraud or theft under false pretence of your money, ” he concluded.
For people who are looking to recover their good which were removed from the houses when they were destroyed, the number to call is: 012 327 7478, and the goods are currently stored at Hermanstad in Pretoria.