Still no Zuma house for Court­ney’s fam­ily

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ASANDA SOKANYILE

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”.

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