South Africa 5.2.2014 08:00 am

Awaiting eviction in the dark

FILE PICTURE: Residents of Durban Deep on 28 January 2014, at the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court, expressed the community's disappointment that the officer accused of fatally shooting a protester was granted bail. Picture: Valentina Nicol

FILE PICTURE: Residents of Durban Deep on 28 January 2014, at the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court, expressed the community's disappointment that the officer accused of fatally shooting a protester was granted bail. Picture: Valentina Nicol

The fate of hostel residents in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, is uncertain, community leader Anthony Mankgabe said yesterday.

Residents took to the streets in protest against their imminent eviction recently, blocking roads and burning tyres as the January 31 deadline to vacate the old mine hostel loomed.

A private developer, which has earmarked the hostel and other buildings in the area for demolition, bore the brunt of residents’ anger.

The protest claimed one life, that of resident Tshepo Babuseng, 28, who was shot and killed, allegedly by a police officer.

Although they feared they would return to find piles of rubble where their homes had once stood, the majority of the community attended Babuseng’s funeral in Taung, North West, on Friday, because they were intent on honouring their slain comrade.

And the residents found no change on their return. However, an ominous silence has again fallen over the community, Mankgabe said.

“There has been no further communication from the developer, we don’t know what is going to happen from here. It’s hectic to be in the dark like this,” he said.

His meaning was more than figurative, he said, as the water and electricity supply to the hostel was cut on Thursday – perhaps a precursor of things to come.

Mankgabe said there was a rumour circulating in the community that government was in negotiations with the developer, a possible reason for the stay of evictions for the time being.

 

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