Woman weeps as she recalls Lwandle evictions

Cape Town - A mother of four cried on Thursday as she recalled how she was separated from her son during demolitions on Sanral-owned land in Lwandle, Cape Town, last month.

Nonhlanhla Lujabe had sent one of her 7-year-old twins, a boy, to a local shop on the morning of

3 June, while she got herself and other children ready for the day.

She heard a loud bang and when she looked outside, saw structures being torn down like they had been the previous day.

"When I looked around [outside], I saw there is my son crying with the haversack on his back. The police wouldn't allow him to come back," she told an inquiry investigating the removals from SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) land.

"I saw all the people are running in different areas and it was a whole chaotic situation."

She looked back into her shack and saw one of her children standing on the bed crying.

She felt like she was suffocating and realised teargas had filtered into the structure.

"I took the one twin and put the child on my back and ran out the structure. I was running around looking for my other child and looking into the neighbour's house. Their television was playing but no one was inside the house."

Lujabe struggled to hold back the tears when she explained how everyone was running and she could not find her son or friends.

"The painful experience... that day is still visible in my mind."

She said the police shoved and pulled her while her child was still on her back.

She pleaded with them to allow her to remove her brand new wardrobe before they tore down her shack. They refused to listen and demolished it in front of her.

The single mother and her family had to wear the same clothes for a week.

On the night of 3 June, she and other evicted shack-dwellers lit a big fire for warmth and slept outside the Nomzamo community hall because they could not get the keys.

Although hearings with residents were now complete, the inquiry would continue to take their statements.

Members of the police were expected to testify next.


Read more on: sanral cape town housing
Iampeople 2014-07-31 09:14:54 PM
Sorry, but you know..... SANRAL dont give a damn about you, your baby or your brand new wardrobe. Money, money, money.
Themba Mzukulwane Ka-Ndlavele Thela 2014-07-31 09:26:44 PM
Mxm,ah....she is a softy, what she cry for now....why did they invade the area in the first place..
Cg Tours 2014-07-31 09:32:39 PM
WHY did you go and squat there ILLEGALLY on land that does not belong to you? Where did you come from? YOU were not born and bred in Cape Town. You had a home/and before. Where you were born. ? surely you KNEW what you were doing was illegal.
Cg Tours 2014-07-31 09:35:38 PM
This illegal squatting has to stop and the squatters now finally made aware they are NOT gong to get sympathy anymore. The LAW is there for everyone of us INCLUDING them to obey. They know very well what they are doing when they just arrive and pitch up from their HOMES THEY ALREADY HAVE and come and squat wherever they like.
Zeitgeist 2014-07-31 09:47:44 PM
Sounds truly awful what this lady went through. Despite the fact that the squatter camps are illegal I can only imagine what it feels like to be separated from your children.
On The Edge 2014-07-31 10:13:48 PM
They were warned on another if not other occasions... why is it so difficult to understand that wrong is wrong and that if we cry for them, it will never stop... they will squat here, there and everywhere and with cases where we give in or relocate at taxpayers costs, what makes you think they will not see this as an easy way to get free housing and the like... frankly, we just don't have the available funds especially after all the corruption in government and SARS as SARS is never held accountable for the maladministration of the money they collect and freely and without impunity, hand over to the corrupt CancER...
Dan Mahla 2014-08-01 06:13:02 AM
Frank, you are just a pig! I wonder which mudswamp you from?
Kirsty Prinsloo 2014-08-01 06:34:15 AM
How horrible it must me to be separated from your child. She probably was hoping she could find a better life for her kids...just like every mother of every race wants.
Paul Dennis Murison 2014-08-01 08:00:16 AM
That's disgusting. People need to open their eyes.
Boitumelo Mohohla 2014-08-06 06:56:59 PM
wow guys its like u quikly forget this cape town is not for boers or british or colouds is for evry 1