Dept defends 'successful' Lenasia demolitions

The Gauteng Housing Department said its demolition operations carried out in Lenasia were successful.

The Gauteng Housing Department demolished illegally built homes in Lenasia on 9 November 2012, sparking unrest in the area. Picture: Iekraam Jardine/iWitness

JOHANNESBURG - Furious residents in Lenasia in south of Johannesburg told Eyewitness News on Friday that their title deeds are legitimate and the Department of Housing had no right to tear down their homes.

More than 40 houses were demolished since following the discovery of an alleged syndicate which sold off the land illegally.

It was a day of tears, stun grenades and destruction in Lenasia on Friday.

The department in Gauteng said it will continue its operation until all 113 houses that were built on illegally sold land were destroyed.

But some residents argued that their land sales were legal and the department had no right to destroy their homes.

One man, who had plans to build a block of flats, arrived to find a wall on his land destroyed on Friday.

Earlier, a woman who said she bought her house at an auction, managed to stop the tearing down of her home at the very moment when tractors started mowing down the wall on her property.

The department's spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa defended the manner in which the demolitions were carried out, describing them as successful.

Police nyalas continued to patrol the area.

To watch a video of the Lenasia demolitions click here.