Media: Resident in a fix after twice being evicted from her home

30 10 2009

it turned out that title deed of house was in dead person’s name

October 29, 2009 Edition 1
MARY-ANNE GONTSANA – Cape Times

A GUGULETHU resident is at a loss after twice being evicted from the home she believes to be hers.

Deborah Booysen, 56, has been living at NY 99, in what she believed to be her parents’ house, for more than 13 years. It was only in 2007 that Booysen found out that the title deed was in the name of her neighbour’s mother who had died.
Booysen said: “The problem started in 2006, when I went to the Fezeka municipal building to pay my rates and transfer my late parents’ house into my name.”

She said that after waiting weeks to get the title deed, she grew impatient.

She inquired, and found that the deed was given to Nondumiso Mnyengeza, 37, her neighbour, because it was in Mnyengeza’s mother’s name.

The housing manager of the City of Cape Town, Grace Blouw, said: “We have been trying for some time to resolve this complex issue.

“The legal opinion obtained indicated that it would be a costly process for the city to prove the error as no documentation of the former Ikapa Municipality could be found.”

She said she did not want to say the matter might be a result of fraud or an inside job because they were still investigating.

Booysen was first evicted from her home in February last year after receiving an eviction notice from the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

“The sheriff of the court arrived and told us to leave the house,” said Booysen.

They were helped by the community, street committee and the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) who fought off the sheriff and managed to get Booysen back into her home.

“He (sheriff) told us that we were illegally occupying Mnyengeza’s house and that he would return with more police to evict us,” said Booysen.

The second time she was evicted was during her aunt’s funeral but, once again, the street committee and the AEC helped stop it.

AEC spokesman Mncedisi Twalo said they would be there to help Booysen in any way they could until the matter was resolved.

“We want to expose the City of Cape Town for what it is. This city does not work for us, as the slogan says; it works for the rich,” said Twalo.

Blouw said that to deregister the property, the city needed the title deed and Mnyengeza was not co-operating in providing the document and they could not force her to do so.

“I have requested the city’s legal department to advise on the way forward.

“Our first priority remains to try and stop the eviction if legally possible,” Blouw said.

mary-anne.gontsana@inl.co.za

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