- BLF leader Andile Mngxitama finds himself at the centre of a strange controversy which involves a group of students ‘invading’ an empty Pretoria mansion
- The students moved into the empty house in Brooklyn, Pretoria last month and said they could not afford alternative accommodation, they claimed to be represented by Mngxitama
- The house has been empty for years after the owners died and the estate became embroiled in legal battles, meanwhile, BLF has called for the eradication of all townships within five years
Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama finds himself at the centre of yet another controversy. This time Mngxitama has been named as the legal representative for a group of students who have ‘invaded’ an empty mansion in Brooklyn, Pretoria.
The group of students claim that they are members of or are associated with BLF and said they decided to move into the empty mansion at the end of July after it came to their attention that the property had been empty for the best part of three years.
The executor of the estate brought an urgent application to have the students evicted before the Pretoria High Court. Judge Nelisa Mali dismissed the application because it was not in her opinion urgent.
Briefly.co.za gathered that when the executor of the estate, Mike Potgieter, initially confronted the students they allegedly told him that they could not afford alternative accommodation and would have to provide them with an eviction order because they had been there for an extended period of time.
Citizen.co.za reported that the group told Potgieter to get into contact with their legal representative who was later identified Mngxitama. The BLF leader is not a registered lawyer.
The property is located in a sought after neighbourhood which is favoured by politicians and other diplomats who live and work in Pretoria. The multi-million rand property became vacant after the owners passed away around three years ago, the owner’s sons live and work overseas.
In court papers, Potgieter said the students posed a significant security risk to the property and those around the property and that they would detract from the value of what he called a historical building with great architectural significance.
The students were left fuming about the remark that they would somehow damage the property and said Potgieter had no proof on which to base such an allegation. The students added that the property had been vandalised before they moved in but since they took up residence the group has tried to restore some of the damaged parts of the home.
Mngxitama spoke during court proceedings which took place last week and claimed that the group had a lease agreement with Potgieter and were renting the property at R20,000 per month.
Potgieter denied this claim and said there was no lease agreement.
The caretaker and neighbours in the area told IOL.co.za that the students had only moved in at the end of July and had not been living in the house for an extended period as they claimed.
Meanwhile, BLF has started a campaign on its official Twitter page in which it seems to call on people to occupy empty homes. The group has called for the eradication of townships and squatter camps within the next five years.
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