WATCH | Bellavista building wars: Battle for council flats causes chaos

03 May 2021 - 06:00
By emile bosch AND Emile Bosch

Ongoing residential disputes in the impoverished southern Johannesburg area of Bellavista have caused chaos among residents. 

A self-appointed community 'committee' consisting of about 70 members has allegedly been evicting flat-owners in the area, then placing other community members in local council-owned flats. 

The committee has allegedly evicted 15 families. 

Flat owner Samantha Janse van Rensburg says a large group of people came to evict her the night she moved in with her two children.

“They threatened me and told me if I don't go they'll burn my kids,” she said.

One of the committee’s leaders, Ruth Wells, says the allegations are fabricated.

“Now they are calling us a syndicate, we are not going into places and evicting people,” Wells says. 

According to police spokesperson Captain Marvin Masondo, four separate cases were under investigation. 

The City of Johannesburg’s group forensics & investigation services’ property hijacking and compliance unit is investigating the allegations.