Dream home owner fears land invaders
Threatened by strangers in R3m La Lucia house
ABUSINESSMAN whose dream home was invaded weeks ago fears those responsible will return.
Selvan Govender, 51, bought a house in La Lucia for R3 million last year, hoping to move his family in after renovating it.
Three weeks ago, when he was inspecting the building, he found two men had occupied the house, changed the locks and hung curtains.
Govender said, “They threatened me when I approached them, saying they had a title deed and my personal details.
“They asked why I was standing outside the gate if it was my house.”
His frustration was compounded when police told him they were powerless to do anything unless legal processes were followed.
Govender has, however, reclaimed his home after laying criminal charges.
The men are believed to have fled when they heard about the charges, but Govender fears they will return “with a vengeance”.
“The entire ordeal has affected my family, and has cost us thousands of rand.
“They changed plumbing and electric cables, which I now have to reverse, and I had to pay for an unknown vehicle to be towed from my property.”
SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, said police could only assist affected residents when protocol was observed.
“When your land is occupied, you need to go to court to obtain a notice that will allow police to act,” she said.
Land invasions have been stepped up around Durban.
The home of 70-year-old Dhaneswar Ramautar in Clare Estate was taken over by unknown men in 1997, leaving the family to rent elsewhere for 20 years. “They just came in one day and started building shacks on the property. We had to leave because everyone turned a blind eye,” he said.
Ramautar claimed councillors and police did not help. He said: “I can’t sell the property because the people inside will not leave, so my family home is gone.”
Ward 25 Councillor Haniff Hoosen said councillors were aware of the plight of residents such as Govender and Ramautar and had raised the issue with the relevant authorities.
“First, private property needs to be fenced off. If it’s occupied, residents need to contact land invasion officials immediately for action to be taken,” he said.
Ward 35 councillor, Heinz de Boer has been keeping an eye on the incident in La Lucia and is urging private property owners not to leave their homes unattended.
He said: “We have a big enough job trying to control the spread of small structures in bushy areas along the roads; so, as councillors, we encourage people to guard vacant land as it could quickly become an informal settlement.”