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Nedbank pulls out of Lenasia matter

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By Sandy Moeketsi

Johannesburg - Nedbank has withdrawn an application to support the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in trying to prevent further demolitions of houses in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.

The High Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday that the bank was not involved in housing erected illegally on government land.

No Nedbank-owned houses were on the list drawn-up by the department reflecting houses yet to be destroyed.

The Gauteng department of local government and housing started tearing down houses erected on land intended for government housing last Thursday and Friday.

About 50 houses have been destroyed so far and another 113 have yet to be demolished, starting Monday.

The stands on which the houses are built were apparently fraudulently sold for amounts ranging from R2500 to R95 000.

The buyers were given forged deeds of sale with the department's logo.

Some residents who had not yet occupied their houses looked on as bulldozers tore down their homes.

On Monday, the SAHRC made an urgent application to the court to halt the demolitions so it could determine whether human rights were being violated.

The court instructed the commission to file affidavits by noon on Wednesday, but this was delayed by Nedbank's application.

In court on Thursday, Judge President Phineas Mojapelo accepted Nedbank's withdrawal.

The commission submitted its affidavits and the department was expected to respond on Monday.

The matter was postponed to November 23 for arguments.

Modise Khoza, for the department, told the court there would be no further demolitions by the department before the matter resumed in court.

Lenasia residents packed the court to follow proceedings.- Sapa

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