Still no Zuma house for Courtney’s family
FIVE months on and the promise made by President Jacob Zuma of a house to the family of raped and murdered 3-yearold Courtney Pieters still has not been fulfilled.
Six days after Courtney’s body was found in a shallow grave in Epping Industrial, a few hundred metres from her home, Zuma visited the house where 15 people lived, including Courtney’s alleged killer, Mortimer Saunders, 40.
Along with a R10 000 donation to assist with the funeral arrangements, Zuma announced his foundation would provide the family with a house.
Not only are they still waiting, the child’s mother, Juanita Pieters, is in Tygerberg Hospital, apparently suffering from TB of the brain.
Earlier this year in Pretoria Velaphi Nkosi almost lost her home after the president promised a house to the family of Ontlametse Phalatse, who died of progeria, a genetic disorder that causes premature ageing.
The Gauteng Human Settlements Department was tasked with sending Nkosi a letter saying: “The old site number provisionally allocated to you has been withdrawn due to the request from the office of the Presidency, so that they can allocate the house to the Phalatse family.”
Nkosi was surprised to learn that the Zuma Foundation had attempted to evict her from the home for which she had waited 19 years.
In March, just a month before Phalatse died, Zuma visited the family. Later it was reported that the Jacob Zuma Foundation, headed by SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni, had agreed to help meet some of Ontlametse’s dreams by joining forces with the Ontlametse Phalatse Trust. The dreams included a home for her family. In the event, Nkosi’s neighbours and the community rallied around and she kept the house.
Now, the national Department of Human Settlements has approached the Western Cape housing department “to see what options we could exercise to make this promise a reality” for the Pieters family.
But department spokeswoman Ntomboxolo Somdaka said: “The Housing Development Agency has been mandated to identify a suitable site within the National Priority Project (N2 Gateway) and they would be best placed to provide a comment on the status.”
Somdaka could not confirm whether the Pieters family was on the provincial housing list to receive an RDP home. Asked if the “suitable site” belonged to an existing qualifying beneficiary, the department also could not respond.
The Pieters family was meant to move into a new home in June, but according to a neighbour, “they never moved but now the mother is very ill in hospital”.