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Stop demolishing houses - Cosatu

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Johannesburg - Government should stop demolishing houses of Lenasia residents, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Gauteng said on Friday.

“We understand the anger and frustration of the affected communities and call upon the department (of housing) to stop the evictions,” Cosatu's provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said.

It should, instead, engage with the affected families to find a solution to the problems that led to the eviction.

Dakile said Cosatu suspected that government officials were involved in the illegal selling of land.

“We also call upon for the arrest of all those that have sold the government land illegally to the communities. We think that some government employees may have been involved... and therefore a proper investigation internally need to be conducted.”

Earlier in the day, the housing department demolished 14 houses in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg. Thirty-seven were destroyed on Thursday.

A total of 113 houses had been identified as those built illegally on the land intended for government houses.

Spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa said: “We are done for today (Friday). We would let you (media) know when we go back again. We will have to make arrangements with police first.

“Investigations by the department's anti-fraud and corruption unit revealed that fraudsters sold several stands (for amounts) ranging from R2500 to R95,000, and issued buyers with fraudulent deeds of sale which bore the department's official logo.” - Sapa

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