July 2, 2022

Removed from brother’s RDP…

Department of Housing says it is the police’s job to stop the evictions!!

By Jonk wa Mashamba

SINCE the start of the notorious Dudula Operations two years ago, foreign nationals who had occupied RDP houses in Alex, have since been unlawfully evicted either by force or voluntarily.Then, they claimed to be reclaiming their stolen RDPs, saying it was not xenophobia, but correcting the wrongs of the past and eradicating corruption.

“Foreigners cannot own our RDPs,” Dudula said during the interview with local media last year.
However, it was not only foreign nationals who became victims of Dudula. Some South African citizens, including some from Giyani, were on the receiving end of Dudula.

The battles began when the government relocated people from hazardous areas, like Setjwetla. Almost everyone who was chosen, irrespective of their origin,was to be given RDP homes.

Hlamalani Cedrick Matjeke from Giyani is one of the victims whose houses were taken forcefully in River Park last year September. He had built a room next to the RDP where he lived with his daughter and wife.
His brother was removed from a shack he owned in Setjwetla in 2010 and was given an RDP in River Park. An emotional Matjeke still remembers the fateful day when the group from Dudula arrived at the place he had occupied since 2010.

“It was on Saturday morning around nine when I was washing my daughter’s sneakers when they arrived. They ordered me to come near them. They asked who the owner of the RDP was and I told them it belonged to my brother who was in Giyani. They accused me of being the owner, claiming I was hiding something.”
Matjeke said an argument ensued.

“While they threatened me, I just kept quiet and carried on with the washing. The group was heavily armed and threatened to kill me.”
He said when they came for the second time, they were in big number.

“They just started to threaten me and my wife in front of my daughter. As I was still shocked, they entered the RDP and took all the furniture and threw the furniture outside.When I was still flabbergasted, they entered the room that I have built with my personal loan from Capitec bank and removed all my belongings out of the room and left.”

Matjeke said during the night he and his family took the damaged furniture inside and slept. The following morning they went to church.
“When we returned from church, we found the house broken into with our furniture thrown on the street. They didn’t respect us. How could they throw out our belongings like we are dogs? My daughter (9) keeps on asking when are we going back to the house. She also wanted to know when the police were arresting that violent group.”

Now he and his brother are both renting shacks in Setjwetla squatter camp.
He said he feels so bad because what was done to him is unconstitutional.

“When we reported the matter to the police, we were told it was the Department of Housing’s prerogative. We went to the housing and we were told they knew about the Dudula group and that they didn’t send them.”

Our efforts to get a comment from Dudula were in vain.
Gauteng Department of Housing spokesperson, Castro Ngobese said he was not aware of what the Dudula Operations were doing in Alex, claiming to have heard it for the first time from Alex Reporter.

“This is news to me,” Ngobese said.
Alex police spokesperson, Sergeant Simphiwe Mbatha said cases related to evictions were reported to the police.
We contacted ward 81 councillor Irene Rugheimer for comment, but her phone rung unanswered on several occasions.

Source consulted: Greater Alex Today newspaper