Tenant, landlord fight over house

Fatima Sallie, a 52-year-old mother, wants the City of Cape Town to grant her a home, or to put the property she is currently occupying, in her name.

Sallie, from Mahogany Street, moved into a vandalised council property in 2006 after an agreement with the beneficiary.

She says she spent thousands of rands fixing the property over the past 13 years.

The single mother and her two children, including a mentally challenged daughter, now face eviction. Sallie says she and property owner, Carolle Diedericks reached a verbal agreement for her and her family to occupy the house as it was not being used. “When we moved into this property it was completely vandalised,” she explains.

She says the house had no electricity and toilets. “It was just a four-wall structure. We spent a lot of money on the house to make it liveable, because it was not suitable to live in at the time.”

Sallie says Diedericks asked her late last year to accommodate her daughter on the property. “I said no, because I am paying her rent. But she refused to accept my decision, and her daughter just moved in after putting up a structure in the backyard.”

Sallie says she now lives in fear after discovering the new occupants are involved in drug activity on the property.

“Ever since the move-in last November, there has been daily fighting between the landlord’s daughter and myself. A small structure was even put up in the yard, specifically for drug usage. I can’t live like this. What about my 13-year-old son and my 21-year-old mentally ill daughter?

She says she has been on the housing waiting list for years.

“There are many people in need of homes. Why can’t the City do a follow-up on these council properties to see if it is being used, and then accommodate those on their waiting lists?”

Meanwhile, Diedericks says Sallie is being dishonest. “I offered to have her live in my house for free in the first year of her tenancy, because she was fixing up the place, although I offered to have my brother fix it.

“I have had enough. I want the family out of my house... I will not have (my daughter) and her children suffer.”

Sallie says she’s being evicted despite paying rent since moving in. She says eviction proceedings by Diedericks are underway in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

Diedericks has confirmed this.

Sallie now wants the City to grant her the house or urgently move her into another council property. Sallie’s legal advisor, Mohammed Bullock, has called on the City to update the waiting list records and to accommodate Sallie and her family urgently. He says she has been on the waiting list for more than 21 years.

City spokesperson, Luthando Tyhalibongo, says the matter is private.

He says Sallie is welcome to submit proof that she applied for a house prior to 2007 and it will be probed.