Despite being arrested and spending a night in jail, a defiant 93-year-old asthmatic Eastern Cape granny has vowed that she will not move from a piece of land she has occupied for the past 21 years.
Feisty Tsolo resident MaDosini Makhamba is among about eight families defying an order to move from the Chris Hani informal settlement in Mhlontlo Municipality to make way for an RDP housing development.
Makhamba was arrested last week and spent the night in a police cell. Her home has been bulldozed at least four times since last month. Makhamba, who walks with the aid of a stick, has defiantly rebuilt her home each time.
She said she and her late husband had invested too much for her to leave. She also claims they were promised alternative temporary accommodation if they left but that had never materialised.
Makhamba said she was worried that if she left, the RDP house would never be built and she would lose her plot of land.
She was among a group of 14 residents arrested on Tuesday last week for stoning a bulldozer which was flattening their shacks.
About 100 residents from the informal settlement were left homeless after Mhlontlo Municipality bulldozed their homes on December 15 to make way for RDP houses.
Some gave in, moving to neighbouring villages, while others vowed to remain and fight. Last week, Makhamba watched for the fourth time as her shack was demolished and personal items destroyed.
“I had to protect what is rightfully mine. I threw stones at the grader and other people joined me,” she said.
Municipal spokesman Sisa Mpehle said the land was being illegally occupied.
He said the municipality had identified a piece of land where the residents could live temporarily while houses were being built.
– Lulamile Feni