Three Woodstock families are in court for permission to live in houses some of them have lived in for more than 30 years.
Sharif Alexander, his girlfriend Nicole Putson and their girlfriendyear-
Old living in a room at 23 kingskin Street, Woodstock.
They share three.
Property that resides with eight other people, including children.
In 1980, Alexander and his grandmother, the main tenant, moved in.
"My family has lived here for more than 30 years.
"That's why I did my best to fight for this place," he said . ".
Alexander told GroundUp that a few months ago, when the property was sold after the owner's death, the troubles of the residents began.
He said passengers have been harassed by police since January.
A resident living in the lounge was forced to leave the room when the new owner started renovating the room.
On Monday, the real estate agent who handled the sale of the House, Piran real estate investment, filed an application at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court to expel the three families.
Ndifuna Ukwazi legal Center lawyer Jonathan coeger opposed the application on behalf of the families.
Residents said in court documents that Alexander had received a letter from a real estate agent telling him to vacate the property by January 10.
The letter was dated December 20, he said, but he did not receive it until January 8.
On February 6, he received a notice of his application for expulsion.
Two days later, the representative of the agent came to the property and told the residents to leave. on February 9, the agent searched the property accompanied by a team of police officers.
Residents were asked if they paid the rent.
Residents said in their affidavit that they were told to leave the property immediately.
On the same day, construction workers began to renovate the interior of the property without the consent of the occupants.
The back door and some windows were removed and the plaster on most of the walls was stripped off.
According to residents, the interior partitions built by the occupants were removed and the items of the former occupants were thrown away.
When three families lived there, the house on kimpi Street was being demolished. (
The families then asked for help from housing activists who introduced them to coger.
When Cogger visited the property in February 17, a representative of the construction company told him that the building was unsafe and dangerous.
Puterson was in there with her baby.
Later that afternoon, the decoration inside the hotel stopped.
According to the affidavit of the occupants, most of them earn a living as an informal merchant or work on piece-counting in the Woodstock area.
None of the residents earned more than Rs 500 a month.
"The occupier submits that in the absence of the provision of an appropriate well, removal from the property
"Alternative accommodation in the city of Cape Town will make us homeless and/or a considerable burden for our families," they said in a statement . ".
"When GroundUp visited the house, some clothes, bathtubs and rubble were scattered on the front porch and adjacent plots, and the place was also destroyed.
The window in front is glued together with cardboard and plastic.
Inside, most of the wooden floors in the rest area were removed.
There was a big hole in the roof and most of the walls were stripped off.
Three weeks ago, electricity and water were cut off without notice, Alexander said.
"This place has also been destroyed since the construction workers came here.
He said: "The thief has removed the wires and cables on the roof.
The case was postponed until September 4.
Lawyer Ansiya Pinar
Julius, who represents the agent, is expected to argue that the property is no longer suitable for residency.
Cogger, who opposes the expulsion application, is expected to argue that approval of the expulsion is not "just and fair because the occupants have been deprived of the right to peace and property without interference ".