Court grants public works eviction order against Mthatha businessman

The owners of this hardware store and other tenants who operate small businesses out of this property in Mthatha's Sprigg Street face eviction after EC public works MEC Babalo Madikizela succesfully applied for an eviction order in the Mthatha High Court.
The owners of this hardware store and other tenants who operate small businesses out of this property in Mthatha's Sprigg Street face eviction after EC public works MEC Babalo Madikizela succesfully applied for an eviction order in the Mthatha High Court.
Image: LULAMILE FENI

Eastern Cape public works MEC Babalo Madikizela has been granted an order by the Mthatha high court to evict people illegally occupying yet another state-owned building in Mthatha.

This comes days after his department successfully evicted a group of 14 people who had illegally occupied another government property in the Fortgale residential area.

The latest order was granted by high court judge Gloria Mjali on Tuesday after the public works department had filed an urgent application against businessman Nzamela Alfred Ncoyini.

In its court papers, the department argued that it had entered into a lease agreement with the businessman in 2013 in respect of the property situated in Sprigg Street.

However, the lease had expired in 2018.

In her judgment, Mjali ruled that the lease agreement between the applicant and the respondent had been terminated through the expiry date and that “there is no existing lease agreement between the applicant and the respondent”.

“The applicant is entitled to evict and is granted leave to evict the respondent and/or any other person occupying Erf 126 situated at No 6 Sprigg Street, Mthatha,” Mjali said.

The judge also ordered that the respondent and anyone found on the premises must vacate the premises within 10 days on receipt of the order.

Ncoyini was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.

The Dispatch found the property is used to run different businesses, including a hardware store on the main property.

The back rooms had been converted into a shoe repair business and a driving school.

But tenants said they had no idea that there was an eviction order granted.

None of the tenants had any idea of who the rent money went to, except that a “lady” came to collect it every month.

The public works department argued in their court papers that the property in question was registered in the name of the then Transkei government in 1968 but had been among many properties allocated to the department in 2006.

“The republic of Transkei ceased to exist as it was reincorporated into the Republic of South Africa.

“By virtue of such re-incorporation, Transkei became part of the Eastern Cape province.”

Ncoyini’s lawyer, Mbulelo Ndabeni, told the Dispatch on Wednesday that his client intended appealing the judgment.

Our plan is not to chase people away but to know how much people are paying for using state buildings and if they are staying there legally

But he said his client had instructed him to first study the judgment to see if there were any grounds to appeal.

Madikizela said the department had tried to engage many of the people staying in government buildings with no lease agreements.

“Our plan is not to chase people away but to know how much people are paying for using state buildings and if they are staying there legally.

“Now we are paying for people who are not paying to stay in government buildings but are nevertheless making a profit from state property.”

The MEC said the businessman was raking in R100,000 monthly on renting out properties and yet was not paying a cent to the department.



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