Limpopo woman says she was inside her shack when the municipality bulldozed it

“I rushed inside and the whole shack fell on me” says Josephine Msiza

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Josephine Msiza sits with what remains of her home and belongings. Hers was among 250 shacks demolished in Tshikota Extension 1, close to Louis Trichardt in Limpopo on Wednesday. Photos: Bernard Chiguvare

  • Makhado Municipality demolished about 250 shacks on a farm in Tshikota Extension 1 on Wednesday.
  • The farm is owned by the municipality. This was the second time since September that shacks on the land were demolished.
  • Many of the occupiers are former backyarders who say they can’t afford to pay rent and have nowhere else to live.

“I begged the police to allow me to remove my belongings. I rushed inside and the whole shack fell on me,” Josephine Msiza told GroundUp.

Hers was among an estimated 250 shacks demolished in Tshikota Extension 1 on Wednesday by the Makhado Municipality.

After the demolition on Wednesday, Msiza, 58, was sitting in the rain on her mattress, surrounded by what remained of her home and belongings. She complained of back and knee pain after the incident.

This is the second time her shack has been demolished this year. In September, Msiza’s was among about 700 shacks bulldozed by the municipality. Most of the occupiers are former backyard dwellers from Tshikota who first moved onto the Naturelle Lokasie Farm, close to Louis Trichardt in Limpopo, in early September. The farm is municipal property.

At the time, an interim court order was granted by the Limpopo High Court in Thohoyandou against the allocation of stands and the erecting or extending of structures by the land occupiers. The order authorised the municipality to demolish any complete or incomplete structure, occupied or not occupied, erected on the property.

By the end of September, some of the backyarders had returned and again erected shacks on the farm.

Violet Muleya says she is a domestic worker and has nowhere to sleep with her six children. “I don’t know where to go now. I can no longer manage paying rent for two rooms where we used to stay,” she said.

The occupiers maintain their claim that the municipality had promised to build RDP houses and stands for backyarders in 2018.

Community leader Mathekgana Mahlatse said the backyarders moved onto the land because they had nowhere to live.

The municipality had not responded to questions by the time of publication. Their response will be included once received.

Families watch as Makhado Municipality tears down shacks in Tshikota on Wednesday.

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TOPICS:  Housing

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