Army sends 20 riflemen to evict wife from home

07 November 2016 - 02:07 By ESTELLE ELLIS

The SA National Defence Force will investigate the eviction by armed troops of a woman from an Eastern Cape army base.

Alta Smit, who was evicted from Forest Hill military base by gun-wielding soldiers on Friday, fears for her life if she returns home despite a court order allowing her to do so.

Her lawyer, Jerome Hicken, said he and his client will meet the base's commander, Colonel Veli Phakathi, today.

About 20 soldiers, armed with semi-automatic assault rifles, dumped Smit's belongings in front of the Port Elizabeth city hall on Friday.

They allegedly threatened people who tried to stop them.

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Defence force spokesman Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said Smit's eviction was one of many countrywide in which families illegally occupying military housing were targeted.

Smit has lived on the base for almost 17 years. Her former husband is employed by the defence force but no longer lives on the base.

Hicken said the court had ordered that Smit be allowed to return to her house pending the defence force being granted an eviction order.

Hicken said: "The pivotal part of the investigation would be if Phakathi gave the order for the furniture to be dumped at the city hall or if the soldiers did it of their own accord."

Nelson Mandela Bay acting city manager Johann Mettler said the soldiers had refused to accept a court order that they remove the furniture from the city hall.

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