Some of the locals are accusing them of having illegally obtained the RDP houses they’re occupying. It’s believed that more than 15 people have been evicted from their homes in Extensions 7 and 9.
The evictions are allegedly being carried out by a group of vigilantes who are against the occupation of the RDP houses by the foreign nationals.
The group’s leader Duma Kulashe claims corrupt officials illegally sold the RDP houses.
“People who are being evicted are foreign nationals who occupied RDP houses. The operation that is currently underway, where we evict only foreign nationals, it is because we want what belongs to us. If there are locals who also occupied we are not aware of that, because we didn’t go into detail. Now the focus is foreign nationals who even have local tenants,” says Kulashe.
Some residents say they are now living in fear. Several houses where people have been removed are standing empty as their owners have fled the area.
One resident (who did not want to be identified for fear of victimisation) says he was targeted because he speaks Xitsonga. He says the group thought he’s a foreign national.
“I was surprised when people arrived here saying they want my Identity Document and house papers. When I asked that ‘where are you coming from?’ they said I should not ask and was given three days to vacate the house. We are not happy about what they are doing here at Extension 7. Many people are suffering because of them. Can they please not abuse us because we will end up killing each other?” says the resident.
After obtaining a statement from one of the complainants the police say they’ve managed to arrest one person.
Alexandra Police Spokesperson, Stephen Malatjie says they’re currently investigating 11 cases which include evictions, malicious damage to property and house breaking.
“We have got house breaking and theft. We have got three cases of eviction,” explains Malatjie.
The Gauteng Human Settlements Department says it is aware of the illegal evictions and is investigating.
“The department is aware of the allegations that there are people who are evicting people in Extension 7 and Extension 7 in Alex. We have, at this stage, not confirmed the allegations. We are working with our teams Rapid Response and Corruption Unit to verify and establish the facts,” says Lebo Kheswa, the Gauteng Human Settlements Department Spokesperson.
The group has vowed to continue evicting people.