South Africa 18.4.2018 06:33 am

Windsor East landlords evict non-paying tenants

Windsor East residents with their belongings along Beatrice street in Randburg, north West of  Johannesburg, 16 April 2018, after a dispute between landlords and tenants. Red Ants evicted thousands of residents from the flats, which they allegedly occupied illegally. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Windsor East residents with their belongings along Beatrice street in Randburg, north West of Johannesburg, 16 April 2018, after a dispute between landlords and tenants. Red Ants evicted thousands of residents from the flats, which they allegedly occupied illegally. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The high court in Johannesburg ordered residents of 70 flats in 19 buildings to be evicted, and they knew of this since April 9.

There was drama on the streets of Windsor East in Randburg yesterday when the Red Ant Security Services moved in to evict residents from the flats.

In an early morning operation, the Red Ants broke down doors flat by flat, emptying every scrap of furniture, clothes and electronics from the dwellings.

According to the police’s Captain Alex Vermaak, the high court in Johannesburg ordered residents of 70 flats in 19 buildings in this northern suburb to be evicted. He added that those evicted were made aware of this operation on April 9.

“Tenants failed to comply with their rental contracts. The occupants have been paying their rent into the account of the Windsor Community Recovery Movement, which the court found not to be in order,” said Vermaak.

The movement collects rent from member tenants and withholds it from the landlords until their demands are met. They claim their action stops landlords charging high rentals and high water and electricity charges.

This, they say, ensures that properties are maintained and also addresses, among others, overcrowding and crime.

The Randburg Sun reported last year that the movement had been accused of intimidating landlords and non-member tenants.

It was also reported last year that the movement’s leader, Amos Maruping, had said that they had been taken to court for cases of intimidation.

Linden police spokesperson Constable Takalani Matumba said: “The sheriff of the court today [yesterday] is enforcing the evictions with the help of the Red Ants, and we as the police will be there solely to observe.”

A resident who didn’t want to be mentioned for fear of further victimisation said: “I pay my rent regularly and this is not fair… “Where am I supposed to sleep tonight?”

Some bystanders, however, did not share the same viewpoint. One resident who also requested to remain anonymous said: “This is good. If I don’t pay my rent, then I will be evicted, these people have not paid and they must go.”

Caxton News Service

Also read: Police to probe deaths in Red Ants clash near Lenasia

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