Residents in Orange Farm squatter camp (south of Johannesburg), have decided that enough is enough following a new rule that says “if you don’t live on your stand, it will be sold”. Things came to a head when the place of a mentally challenged woman also suffering from depression was allegedly sold after she was been away for some time.
On 25 August 2020, a group of women took the matter into their own hands and demolished the shack of the person who had bought the woman’s place. Thembelani Mabaso from United Democratic Movement Women’s League, said they could not stomach seeing an unwell woman with two children being robbed of her home.
“The stand owner came to us and said someone took her place. We gathered as women and confronted the person who took the stand. She told us that the stand was sold to her by some people. We then confronted the sellers but they denied this. We then told all of them to give the woman her stand back,” said Mabaso.
After realising that weeks had passed and nothing was happening, the women decided to remove the shack erected illegally and rebuild the rightful owner’s shack.
Mabaso said; “this thing of selling stands while people are still living on them is wrong and must end. We are saying enough is enough. Before they sold unoccupied stands now it’s even those with full time occupants. We are deeply hurt. Women must stand up and fight for their places. Do no keep quiet or speak behind closed doors. Those with stands must come and occupy them so that this thing of selling stands stops.”
“Our children do not have playing grounds because people are allocated in the area that is supposed to be sports grounds. And to those who stay elsewhere while their stands are empty we are not here to look after your place,” She added.
This article was submitted on 14 September 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.