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The fiasco around the RDP houses in Siyahlahla-la continues—mob justice running amok in the small community, with people being forced out of their homes.
Coming forward, one resident shares his experience. A heart-wrenching ordeal that now sees him homeless.
Remaining anonymous for safety reasons, he explains, “People are now actively chucking people out of their homes. I was forced out of my house the day before yesterday (11 January 2021). A group of people came to my door, demanding that I hand over my keys and vacate the premises, which I refused to do.”
Not satisfied with his response, the mob allegedly broke the front door’s lock and forced him out. Afterwhich the new occupants changed the lock on the door, thereby blocking him and anyone else from gaining entrance to the home, a move which the homeowner describes as ironic, especially since this did not stop the mob from evicting him from the house.
According to the resident, the group forced him out of the house because he had never lived in a shack, in the area.
While allegations of corruption around the RDP homes is rife, the homeowner emphasises he followed the necessary procedures and protocols from the get-go. “I applied for an RDP home in 2013 when I heard about them and the application process. I eventually got the home in February 2019. While I understand the community’s qualms and the fact that it is not easy living in a shack, especially during the rainy season, I followed the correct process.”
Moreover, he stresses that if people have an issue with those allegedly involved with corruption and political parties, it is no reason to target those abiding by the regulations. He states, “I am just living my life; why must someone have a problem with me?”
What he finds concerning is that the mob is growing more confident in evicting homeowners. “When the mayor addressed the community in 2019, things calmed down a bit. But since November 2019, the mob is growing more confident. What makes it worse is they feel entitled.”
Their sense of entitlement has reached such a level, that if a resident shows them the necessary paperwork to prove they followed the process, the mob shirks it off. “They will ask where your shack was. They consider themselves “the community” and everyone else an outsider.”
Now without a house, the homeowner is waiting for the Newcastle Municipality to get involved and assist in resolving the issue. “I have asked a family member to put me up for the time being, but I can’t rely on my relatives indefinitely, they also have lives and responsibilities. I am also not the only person this has happened too.”
Responding to the matter, Head of communications for Newcastle Municipality, Mlungisi Khumalo states, “The municipality condemns the act of mob justice. Equally, we call upon anyone who has evidence of corruption or the illegal sale of RDP houses to notify the police and the municipality.”
Additionally, the community is urged to remain calm and refrain from forcing people out of the RDP homes.
Khumalo expounds, “The municipality is almost done with its investigation, and we are also pleased to announce that members of the community in Siyahlala-la have been cooperative and supportive. We condemn any acts of corruption, and we urge residents to allow and give law enforcement officials the space to act.”
He assures the community, the municipality will leave no stone unturned when investigating corruption and will do so without fear or favour. Moreover, he enthuses issues relating to the matter of Siyahlala-la is currently in court and residents are urged to allow this process to unfold.
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