IN PICS & VIDEO: Red Ants evict Hillbrow distraught residents

IN PICS & VIDEO: Red Ants evict Hillbrow distraught residents

Red Ants evict residents at Matroosberg in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, 20 June 2019, for defaulting on rent payments. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

Tenants of the Matroosberg building say that they did not receive eviction notices, but police insist that protocol was followed.

Hillbrow has been at the forefront of breaking news for the past few days after drug raids took place at the infamous Vannin and Stensby Court.

To add to this, on Thursday morning the Red Ants headed a massive eviction at the Matroosberg building.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

 

Video by Carlos Muchave

 

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Numerous tenants were left homeless after the Red Ants recklessly emptied out their apartments, throwing their belongings out onto the streets, reportedly due to tenants failing to pay their rent.

The tenants who were evicted said they hadn’t received an eviction notice. The number of people who were evicted was not specified, but 42 units were emptied out, with foreign nationals making up the majority of those who were evicted.

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A tenant who chose to remain anonymous said that she felt extremely embarrassed and ashamed of how she found her belongings lying around recklessly. She explained that she was at work when she received a phone call informing her that the building she resided in was being evicted.

She said that tenants had asked numerous times for the rent to be reduced, but their calls were met with silence and pending cases.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Spokesperson of the Hillbrow Police Station Musa Shihambe said that an eviction notice of three months was sent out, and that tenants were given time to prepare for the eviction day.

He further added that a court order was given for the eviction, in response to the tenants who claimed that there was no court order brought forward.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Tenants were left devastated, as the majority of them had nowhere to go, and said they would have to sleep on the freezing streets as winter settles in.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Among the people who were taken out were mothers, and children who were only a few months old.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Visibly distraught mothers expressed their frustration at the situation, adding that most of their belongings were nowhere to be found, as the Red Ants randomly threw their items outside.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Many tenants claim that the eviction notice was only received by the landlords, who were nowhere to be found during the incident. Tenants were also demanding their rent money for June, which they have already paid but want to be reimbursed for as they find themselves without shelter.

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Shihambe said that there was nothing they can do to assist the now-homeless people, that they issued out eviction notice as required, and that the rest was left to the individuals. More of these evictions will take place in the near future.

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