‘Residents losing their homes to criminal syndicates’

Public Safety MMC, Michael Sun, at the Windsor East public meeting in February.

According the City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba , residents of Windsor and some southern suburbs in Johannesburg are being illegally evicted from their homes by alleged criminal syndicates claiming to be in possession of valid eviction orders.

Mashaba, said the communities (those still living in the area and those that have been evicted) claimed that these syndicates illegally construct rooms on the property they have illegally acquired and then rent them out, all while allegedly illegally connecting to the City’s services.

“Most of these properties are then used as drug dens and turn our young girls into sex slaves,” he said.

Since taking office, addressing the need for housing has been one of the mayor’s top priorities. However, the City has a backlog of 300 000 housing units and limited resources for addressing this shortage.

“I have therefore instructed the City’s legal team to investigate these allegations, provide a report on the matter and advise on how to proactively begin addressing this problem,” said Mashaba.

The City’s group forensic team is also going to intensify raids in these communities to profile the size of the problem, added Mashaba.

Ward 98 councillor Beverley Weweje previously pointed out that the area’s biggest problem was that flats in Windsor East were occupied by more people than there should be.

“I believe the biggest problems will be resolved once the property issues have been solved. We are currently in the process of identifying problem properties and to take the relevant [action],” Weweje said.

The City’s Public Safety MMC, Michael Sun, paid a visit to the area in February. At a heated meeting with residents, it became clear that drug abuse, overcrowding, constant noise pollution and illegal street vendors add to the many problems that residents of Windsor have to deal with.

Complaints about police officers allegedly involved in bribery and unethical behaviour were also raised.

Sun said he was aware of the drug problem in the area, saying it was an issue plaguing our society and all neighbourhoods.

“Metro police have limited resources, but with the refocused K9 Narcotic and Tactical Unit we are taking on drug lords,” he said.

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