Alleged building hijacker hides in car
Naledi Mailula & Thomas Hartleb, News24
Johannesburg - A woman allegedly involved in hijacking a Hillbrow building hid in her car as security guards evicted tenants on Wednesday morning.
She allegedly took R150 000 from new tenants, who moved into Williston Court, on Claim Street, last week, according to one of the sheriff's colleagues, who did not want to be named.
The new tenants were among those the sheriff was evicting with the help of the Red Ants, a private security company, so called because of their red overalls and helmets.
The alleged hijacker threw hot water and oil at the sheriff and his colleagues when they tried to speak to her on Wednesday.
Then she went to sit in her red Toyota Corolla in the basement parking, covering herself with a blanket when journalists approached her. She managed to slip away later.
The street outside was a sea of mattresses, cupboards and wardrobes as evicted residents gathered their belongings together. Bakkie owners added to the chaos as they arrived to try to earn money by transporting residents’ belongings away.
A few homeless people with bags helped themselves to items the Red Ants had thrown out of the windows on to the street below. One woman chased after a man who had taken her pots and clothes.
The evictions started at 07:00 and caused great unhappiness among the tenants, who were not allowed to move their goods themselves. Officials at the scene said this was because the Red Ants could not allow people to take items without first verifying who the rightful owners were.
"Things are just messed up here and they aren't allowing us to take our things. I'm afraid we will lose our things," said one woman who did not want to give her name.
Lawyer Lucky Mhlanga, representing the residents, told reporters the evictions were unlawful and that the matter is still pending in court.
The sheriff of the court insisted the tenants were supposed to have vacated the building last month.