Marikana illegal occupants to know their fate


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MARIKANA residents who illegal occupied RDP houses will hear their fate today (Friday).

Residents will appear in North West High Court in Mahikeng after they petitioned the court to stop their eviction over a month ago.

This followed the notices of eviction that were handed over to the residents by the North West local government and human settlements department and the Rustenburg local municipality.

In their earlier appearance, the court ordered residents to explain why they must not be evicted and they are expected to submit affidavits to that aspect today.

Local government and human settlements department spokesperson, Ben Bole said they will wait for the court decision.

“The case against Rustenburg local municipality versus the illegal occupants of the houses in Marikana was postponed in the North West High Court to June 10. This was to allow the respondents to file heads of arguments. The court ruled that all approved beneficiaries of the Marikana Extension 2 housing project allow the contractor space to complete the houses that they are presently occupying.

“The rest of the residents who have not been approved or are yet to be approved as beneficiaries furnished their personal circumstances to the court on June 3. This is in accordance with the Land Act of 1998 and section 4 of the Prevention of Illegal Occupation and Eviction Act,” Bole said.

Rustenburg local municipality spokesperson, Thapelo Matebesi said the illegally occupied houses were built through collaboration of the department, Rustenburg local municipality and Lonmin. He said the project was part of the presidential package to deal with housing backlog in the country.

“This resulted in the decision to yield 2 600 units in the Marikana area. Lonmin donated a 50ha portion of land with 860 serviced sites known as Marikana Ext. 2. The sector provincial department provided subsidies and appointed developers for the first phase that saw the construction of 292 Breaking New Ground units (BNG’s). Construction is under way and the completion date was suppose to be this month,” he said.

Matebesi said lawful beneficiaries where identified through extensive consultation with the community.

However, the Marikana illegal housing occupants’ leader, Napoleon Webster said that the houses were used as ANC machinery to get voters.

“We will suffer the same gross injustices suffered by mine workers and their families. What they went through was one part of the enslavement of the indigenous dispossessed of South Africa,” Webster said.

TDN

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