By Vincent Lali
Twenty-five people who occupied an Old Mutual property, and were then evicted, have got most of their possessions back. But they claim that some of their goods are damaged or missing. They have reoccupied the building.
A leader of the group in Thembokhwezi, Khayelitsha, said they got their seized possessions back from a depot in Blackheath on Friday.
They illegally occupied the property on 16 June and were evicted on 30 July by Red Ants and police. Most of the occupants were backyard dwellers in the area. The property has been vacant since Equal Education moved its offices from there in 2016. Old Mutual intends to build “289 units and amenities such as a crèche or church, a school and a public open space” on the property, according to its spokesperson Jenna Wilson.
Neli Bomvana, a leader of the occupiers, said a fridge belonging to one occupier is broken. Another occupier could not find a digital camera that was confiscated, and another could not get their shoes back.
“We discovered that Old Mutual didn’t have a list of the things it seized. Our advocate has asked us to draw up a list of the things we could not get back and he would approach Old Mutual,” said Bomvana.