Stand off between Old Mutual and Khayelitsha occupiers

15 hours 54 minutes ago
Residents were removed but returned almost immediately

By Vincent Lali

Photo of Old Mutual property in Khayelitsha
Evicted residents from a block of flats and bungalows in Khayelitsha owned by Old Mutual reoccupy the building. Photo: 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.

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FHA to Build Diaspora City in 7 States, Targets 30 Months for Abuja Project

1 day 17 hours ago

By Simon Echewofun Sunday

The Managing Director/CEO, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin, has announced plans to build a Diaspora City in seven states of the country.

Prof. Al-Amin, who spoke yesterday when he received the Chief Executive Officer/Editor-In-Chief of Medial Trust Limited (MTL), Malam Mannir Dan-Ali, said the innovative model was a strategy to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and boost job creation and access to housing schemes for Nigerians in the Diaspora, adding that over the years, about $20 billion has been attracted from the Diaspora.

He said rather than allow offshore funds to go into the black-market in the country, FHA made a case for legal means of channelling the funds for local investments.



'People Celebrate When Their Houses Are Marked for Demolition'

1 day 17 hours ago

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen fields questions from Okon Bassey on his encounter with the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and debunks insinuations that the Governor Udom Emmanuel signed a pact to serve one term. Excepts.

You are considered Governor Udom Emmanuel's right man, is true that the Governor entered an agreement with the Oron people to serve one term after which an Oron person will serve one term to complete the mandatory two-tenures for the Eket Senatorial District?

Oron is in my senatorial district. I believe in evidence. There must have been people at that meeting. A document must have been signed. Where are these documents? Who were at this discussion? At the time Governor Udom Emmanuel was emerging, Oron people had gone to other camp. Most of their leaders were in the other camp. I believe with all my heart that Governor Udom Emmanuel will not tell a lie. People believe that in government, you must tell a lie to get things done. I am of a different school of thought that is why I am able to work very freely with the Governor. The Governor says it the way it is. There was no such understanding. If you tell me that the then governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio must have had some understanding, I may not argue because I was not there. Governor Udom Emmanuel was not there.



Occupiers of Cape Town buildings hold first congress

3 days 16 hours ago
Reclaim The City elects leaders and adopts constitution on Women’s Day

By Phathiswa Shushwana

10 August 2018

Photo of Deena Bosch
Deena Bosch celebrates after being elected to Reclaim the City’s Woodstock chapter. Photo: Barry Christianson

About 300 members and supporters of Reclaim The City gathered at Queen’s Park High School in Woodstock on Thursday, Women’s Day. This was Reclaim the City’s first annual congress.

This is the organisation that organised the occupations of Woodstock Hospital and Helen Bowden Nursing Home opposite Cape Town’s Waterfront. Both properties, owned by the Western Cape government, were empty at the time. Up till now the provincial government has taken no steps to evict the occupiers.

The occupiers have named the Woodstock building Cissie Gool House and the nursing home Ahmed Kathrada House.

Members of Cape Town civil society organisations, such as #UniteBehind, Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Equal Education and Abahlali Base Mjondolo attended in support. The SJC’s General Secretary, Axolile Notywala, told the meeting: “We should work together and support each other. If Reclaim the City needs anything, call on the SJC and we will gladly help.”

The audience sang struggle songs, such as “Asinalo uvalo [We are not scared]”.

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Owner breaks down house under tenants’ feet

5 days 16 hours ago
Woodstock property stripped before eviction hearing starts

By Barbara Maregele

Photo of woman in broken doorway
Nicole Puterson and other residents are fighting to stay in the house where some of them have lived for more than 30 years. Photo: Barbara Maregele

Three Woodstock families are battling in court to be allowed to stay in a house where some of them have lived for more than 30 years.

Shariff Alexander, his girlfriend Nicole Puterson, and their one-year-old live in one room of 23 Gympie Street. They share the three-roomed property with eight other people, including children. Alexander moved in with his grandmother, who is the primary tenant, in 1980.

“My family has lived here for over 30 years. This is why I’m trying my best to fight for this place,” he said.

Alexander told GroundUp that residents’ troubles started a few months ago when the property was sold after the death of the owner. He said that since January, the occupants had been harassed by police. A resident, who lived in the lounge, had been forced off the premises when the new owner began renovating the space.

On Monday, Pilland Property Investments – the estate agents handling the sale of the house – brought an application in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court to evict the three families. The families, represented by Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre attorney Jonathan Cogger, are opposing the eviction.

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1 hour 10 minutes ago
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