REIGATE COMPOUND residents have been given a reprieve after the Umguza Rural District Council (URDC) said it would abide by a November 2013 High Court order barring the municipality from conducting further demolitions at the settlement.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Some compound residents were left homeless after their houses were demolished by the URDC’s workers before the High Court interdict.
The URDC and its lawyer Shepherd Chamunorwa of Calderwood Bryce Hendrie and Partners Legal Practitioners, met with Reigate residents’ lawyer Kossam Ncube where the municipality indicated that it would not oppose the order granted by Justice Nokuthula Moyo.
Ncube confirmed the agreed position.
“The long and short of it is that the URDC said it will not oppose the court order. The order interdicted the URDC from demolishing the houses without a court order,” he said.
The Zanu PF-controlled URDC destroyed the tenants’ houses so it could allocate the stands they are built on to new buyers.
The tenants leased the houses on a six-year rent-to-buy agreement from January 2003 after which they were supposed to assume ownership of the houses.
However, the URDC allegedly sold the stands to other people and wanted to flatten the entire compound to accommodate the new buyers.
The tenants, however, rushed to court to stop the demolitions. Seven houses had already been destroyed.