Family evicted after municipality administrative bungle

Mohammed Imthiaz Amod, Nazreen Suleman and their children have been left homeless after being evicted from the Cornubia flats.

A Cornubia family has been left homeless after being thrown out of the Cornubia Housing Development Flats in what eThekwini Municipality claims to be an administrative bungle.

The family of six said that they have been residing in the municipal unit for only seven months. Prior to that, they were living in transit camps in Newlands West for a period of four years.

Speaking to the Phoenix Sun, Mohammed Imthiaz Amod and his partner, Nazreen Suleman, said the transit camps were deserted by the owners and the community brought them to stay there because they did not have a shelter.

“Seeing the plight that we were living under, the previous councillor of Newlands West, Hendrick Lubhede, gave us a letter and told us to go to unit 20 in Phoenix and that is where we were issued a project number for Cornubia.  We waited for eight months, until last year August, when they began moving people. Housing officials took us with a truck to Cornubia and we settled in well into our new home.  However, it was only after we had moved into the flat that housing officials informed us that it was a mistake and that the unit belonged to someone else,” said a frustrated Amod.

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Again to their astonishment, on March 30, 2017, the family received a notice to vacate the premises, on behalf of Melvin Moonsamy, whom they claim is the owner of the transit camp they had been residing in Newlands West.

In the letter from Legal Aid SA, it states that Moonsamy purchased the said property from the municipality and is in possession of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

“We have been instructed by our client (Moonsamy) that you and those claiming occupation by and through you have been occupying our client’s property without his permission,” reads the letter.

The family was given 30 days to vacate and were told that if they failed to do so, legal proceedings will be instituted against them.

After failing to comply with the eviction notice, the family claim that they were allegedly attacked by the said owner and he attempted to burn down the unit.

“We are very disappointed about this because we were promised this house and now the municipality says they made a mistake. We have nowhere else to go and we have four children. If they say it was a mistake, then it was their fault, they must now provide us with alternative accommodation,” said Amod. The family said they are now struggling, moving from house to house every night.

“Our children have not been attending school for the past two weeks and they are losing out on their studies, this is really affecting us,” said Amod.

The Cornubia units consist of two bedrooms, a lounge, a kitchen and ablution facilities and in cases where people were moved from informal settlements to relocate to Cornubia, the settlements were demolished in line with eThekwini Municipality slums clearance programme.

“We cannot even go back to the transit camps because they were demolished. We need shelter as we cannot go around with children every night in the cold seeking shelter,” said Suleman.


Mbali Khubisa

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