A handover of title deeds to three Wallacedene residents took a sour turn when ward councillor Grant Twigg discovered one of the RDP houses had been sold less than a year after it was built in 2008.
Mr Twigg, who is also the chairman of the DA’s Western Cape Metro Region, was presenting the title deeds to the residents on Thursday June 28, when he learnt of the complication.
It’s illegal for a beneficiary of an RDP home to sell the property within eight years of getting it.
Sicelile Masokisi, who claims he is the new owner of the Thakudi Street property in Wallacedene, looked anxious when he explained his side of the story to Mr Twigg.
According to Mr Masokisi, he bought the house in September 2009 for R38 000 from Vusumzi Tsobo.
He produced a handwritten note signed by him and a witness, and a 2009 affidavit identifying him as the new homeowner.
He said Mr Tsobo had taken the money and gone to live in Komani, formerly Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape.
He said he had battled to get hold of the man for the past three years.
“If he sees this is my number, he will put the phone down immediately and not pick up again,” he said.
Mr Masokisi told the Northern News he had been desperately looking for a house in Wallacedene when Mr Tsobo, hearing of his plight, had called him to view his.
“When I bought the house, I fixed it to what it is now. At that time, there was no paving, only cement and I had to paint the inside and outside.”
Asked how many people lived with him, he said: “I don’t live there. It is my house, but my sister, brother and their kids live there.”
Northern News tried calling Mr Tsobo on the number Mr Masokisi gave to us, but no one answered the phone.
Mr Twigg told Mr Masokisi he did not doubt his version of events but the title-deed handover would have to be postponed until he was certain how to proceed.
Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, called the situation “irregular”.
He said there was a good chance the original owner could lose the house. But there was also a danger of the buyer being evicted by the registered owner.
“If the current owner agrees to the transfer of ownership, it can be done after they sign a deed of sale. If the current owner does not agree, the occupant will have to approach the High Court to make a determination with regard to the sale.”
Further questions sent to the City of Cape Town went unanswered before the paper went to print.
Meanwhile, the other beneficiaries in Thobela Street were thrilled to get their title deeds.
Nomfezeko Tetyana, 36, said the long wait of almost 10 years was over.
“I am very happy to be the owner of a new house,” she said.
Sibusiso Matiyela, 44, said he was “glad to be holding the ownership in his hands and he and his family of five will live happy.”
He said: “I don’t have to say that I stay here, I can now say I own this home.”