Belongings strewn across Hillbrow street after evictions

Naledi Shange, News24

Johannesburg - Underwear, photo albums, broken furniture and shoes were what was left behind on a Hillbrow street on Thursday morning after forced evictions the day before.

A Pikitup truck was parked at the entrance to the Williston Court building as about a dozen workers sorted through the debris, placing it in bins and plastic bags before dumping it on the truck.

"There aren't many valuable things left behind. It's mostly panties and shoes," said one woman, raking through the leftover belongings of some 1 500 tenants evicted by the Red Ants on Wednesday.

"There are also cassettes and CDs but we haven't found any money or IDs."

The Pikitup workers were instructed to place any recovered IDs or passports on a wall outside the flat.

While the street was crowded with hundreds of evicted tenants on Wednesday, only one had returned in the morning when News24 visited the scene, hoping to salvage some of his goods.

"I thought I should come back and see if I can't find any of my clothes," the man said in a foreign accent.

"I don't know what happened here. I came back yesterday and found things like this."

The entrance to the building had been nailed shut.

Some tenants managed to unscrew their DStv satellite dishes on Wednesday but several remained mounted on the walls.

There seemed to be some activity inside the flats by men in blue, thought to be cleaners. A few lone pot plants could still be seen on balconies and windowsills.

Otherwise, life continued as normal on the busy street with taxis picking their way through the traffic as they transported people to work.

Residents from nearby flats helped themselves to some of the goods lying in the street as they walked past.

A homeless man who was spotted in the crowd on Wednesday returned with a sack and filled it with stray pieces of wood, metal and plastic.

News24 Source