Home South Africa News Family left homeless after bitter neighbour destroys their house

Family left homeless after bitter neighbour destroys their house

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Nozolani Ligunya's house was demolished by a neighbor

A pensioner had to helplessly watch her home being demolished by a neighbour who claimed she had built the house on his father’s piece of land.

Nozolani Ligunya had lived in the house for 28 years.

Ligunya, 55, from Blikhana village in Mkunyazo, outside Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, stayed in the one-bedroom house with her five children and two grandchildren. She is now staying with relatives.

Ligunya said she lost everything that she worked hard for and they were only left with the clothes they were wearing when their house was demolished, allegedly by Zukule Nondabula.

“The incident happened at the beginning of last month. I was doing laundry when my neighbour came to my house with a big machine [excavator] which he used to demolish it. He first said I should move the house as it was built on his father’s land. I lost my important documents, children’s birth certificates and our clothes. I am just grateful that there was no-one inside,” she said.

She said she opened a case, but was then told to sign a document brought to her by police officers and later found out she was agreeing to the charges being dropped.

Nondabula refused to comment on the incident yesterday.

Ligunya’s brother-in-law, Lungile Ligunya, 55, said when they were moved from the camps in the 1970s, his brother was allocated that site by the village chief.

“My brother got the site in 1979 and he built this house in 1983, three years after the neighbour [Nondabula] was born. He has been tormenting my brother and his wife since 2004.

Unfortunately, my brother passed away in 2012, leaving his wife with five children. Now they have nothing under their name. He has made us a laughing stock,” Lungile said.

The village chief, Phambili Mphambo, said he had advised Nondabula to take up the matter with the land claims court.

“In the 1960s people’s yard were divided among community members as they had big yards. However, the owner was given the bigger portion and that is how Ligunya got his piece of land. Unfortunately people were not given title deeds. My pleas for him not to demolish the house fell on deaf ears,” Mphambo said.

“I will fight for the case to be reinstated even though that will mean I am putting my life in danger, we have to avoid incidents like these at all costs.”

-Sowetan

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