Cape Town – Community leaders in Macassar are furious and fighting the “illegal eviction” of a family on Monday morning from the City of Cape Town’s rental stock units in the area.
In an eviction notice sent to Madalynn Abrahams, the City said she forcefully moved her belongings into the unit on September 15 when the flat was already allocated to an elderly person on medical grounds.
Abrahams’ aunt, who was the tenant of the unit, died earlier this month. Abrahams said she was living with her aunt and her grandmother, who was the initial tenant of the unit.
She contends that she had stayed with the tenants for more than two years, and is convinced that she was registered as a beneficiary.
The family and community leaders are now accusing the City’s area co-ordinator of rental stock, Patricia Dickson, of allocating the unit to her family members.
Community leader Christiaan Steward said it was unacceptable how City officials treated people in the area and dared the City to seek a court order evicting the family.
“It is totally not fair that the area co-ordinator would illegally evict a family member who has been in occupation of the unit for years, only to allocate it to their family member.
“Because of this, the community has stood up to say this cannot happen, but at the very least the unit must be given to someone on the list looking for a house,” he said.
Abrahams said the new tenant came on Sunday evening with a mattress and a set of curtains, alleging that one of the housing officials told the woman to get someone to sleep in the unit for the evening.
Abrahams said there were affidavits from neighbours, church and community leaders, including registered mail, proving that she stayed at the unit for more than two years.
The City’s spokesperson, Luthando Thyalibongo, said housing department officials met Abrahams on September 20 and confirmed with her that she and the other unlawful occupants of the unit do not qualify for tenancy in terms of the council’s allocation policy.
Thyalibongo said the City’s records showed that the deceased was in sole occupation of the unit.
“It must be noted that claims of the transfer going to a family member of a housing official are utterly false and an attempt to justify the unlawful occupation. The City completely rejects this claim,” he said.