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North West
Mar 5 2012 11:04AM
 
Community fights council
DETERMINED: Obakeng Moseki and Tshekiso Palai refuse to vacate the land. Picture: THABO RANTLHA
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Thabo Rantlha

The people who were evicted from a portion of land at Ikageng township in Zeerust say they will fight the court order against them.

The group was taken to court by the Ramotshere-Moiloa municipality after they had ignored the council’s order to vacate the land they had occupied for five weeks.

Both parties are now preparing for another round in their court battle after the community lodged an appeal.

The municipality say the occupied land is unsuitable for settlement as it is on a floodplain.

Ikageleng Development Forum chairperson, Obakeng Moseki, said they were fed up after their battle for housing began 18 years ago with the Zeerust town council, and carried on under the present municipality.

He said all the mayors over the years – including Patrick Mafora, Sophy Lebeko-Ratlhagane, Moji Pilane and incumbent Africa Thale – were unhelpful.

“Thale granted us permission, but said only 25 families could occupy the land. He contradicts himself by saying we should vacate the land when talking to the media. We identified 200 stands and we’ll not be threatened by anyone,” said Moseki.

The forum’s organising officer, Tshekiso Palai, said: “We need land to build our own homes. Municipal officials own huge private stands while people are suffering. We are challenging the court order. We are tired of empty promises.”

Resident, Acarcia Mogale, said: “I can’t stay with my parents and children under the same roof. I’m here to settle, and I will rebuild my shack if they dismantle it.”

David Sekopamotse said: “We are not fighting, but we’ll do so if they remove us from here. The mayor rises against us because we have invaded this land. Of course we are angry.”

Municipal lawyer Albert Jacobs said the land was not a residential area and could cause problems if the community settled in a flood area.

Mayor Thale said: “We are looking for land to build 100 RDP houses from our budget. Our interventions are underway way with the human settlements department to avail funds for 300 more houses to fulfil our promise to build 400 houses.”

thabor@thenewage.co.za

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