Court halts Lenasia demolition - for now

A court order to bring Lenasia housing demolition to a halt has been secured, for the time being.

A Lenasia resident picks up bricks from his demolished house. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Lenasia residents have again blocked roads leading into Extension 13 where 51 structures were demolished.

A small police contingent has been deployed to keep an eye on the protest.

Protesting Lenasia residents have jubilantly celebrated a South Gauteng High Court ruling that has halted the demolition of structures built on illegally sold land.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was granted the order only for today.

The SAHRC is expected to visit Lenasia today to assess the structures demolished by the Gauteng Local Government and Housing Department last week.

Residents are now claiming the department failed to produce a court order granting the demolitions.

The South African National Civic Organisation's Thomas Thaga has reassured the community of the organisations support.

Residents have vowed to stop the department from destroying the remainder of the 113 structures built on illegally sold land.

The SAHRC's challenge of the move was postponed in order to allow the housing department time to file its response.

Meanwhile, residents whose homes were torn down in Lenasia have accused government of not following the right process when they demolished their houses.

Community leader Lazarus Baloyi says residents had not been given adequate notice before their houses were brought down.

"The whole thing is a joke. They just sent out letters without housing logos, without stamps or names of people. They just threw them over the wall whenever they came to the place."