It was a march demanding the company’s director ends his relationship with the eMalahleni Housing Company.
A law firm accused of being at the centre of the housing crisis in the eMalahleni area has distanced itself from the alleged looting spree taking place at the eMalahleni Housing Company.
The Neuhoff Khoza Attorneys in Model Park suburb, east of town said they know nothing of corruption taking place at the public institution and that director Desmond Khoza told them that the housing company is being run “in an open and transparent manner”.
Khoza is a board member at the controversial eMalahleni Housing Company.
The eMalahleni Housing Company, a supposed government rent collecting agent, is led by embattled CEO George Xaba, whom the residents accuse of being opposed to the area being a “rent to buy” settlement because he wants to continue “enriching himself” from the R3.7 million that is collected monthly from the tenants.
Other than the embattled Xaba, the public company has six board members, including Hezel Zitha from the provincial human settlement department, Cosatu leader Thabo Mokoena and Khoza who is allegedly representing the Law Society.
Khoza has been serving on the eMalahleni Housing Company board since 2012.
In their memorandum of demand, the marchers said that the law firm “is the very same one that was paid the money to do the transfer of the very same land” to developer Themba Sgudla and then at the same time legally advised the eMalahleni Housing Company to oppose the transfer in court.
“This is prima facie evidence that this law firm is corrupt and complicit in grand corruption and stealing from the poor,” the memorandum reads.
“This law firm is the one enabling the corrupt individuals who call themselves a board of directors to continue to steal from the poor and enrich themselves from the suffering of the people of eMalahleni, who so desperately need shelter for their families,” it said.
The marchers in their demands want Khoza to resign from the eMalahleni Housing Company board within a space of 24 hours and they also want the law firm to take “visible and tangible action” against Khoza “in the form of him being relieved from his position as partner in the firm”.
Marchers also vowed to picket outside the Chicken Licken franchises that the law firm owns across the eMalahleni area and even take the extra mile of going to the Bar of Attorneys “to demand that the firm and all its directors be struck of the Bar”.
But Henri Neuhoff, another law firm director, distanced the firm from the allegations.
He said Khoza has denied the allegations when they spoke to him and “firmly maintains that the affairs of the eMalahleni Housing Company are conducted in an open and transparent manner, and more specifically so for the benefit of the community”.
He said that he could not be in office on Thursday mid-day to receive the memorandum from the marchers as he was in Tshwane and didn’t “want to be involved in altercation”.
“I was away because I was busy in Pretoria and also I don’t want to be involved in the altercation of Khoza and the people,” he said when he spoke to the 013NEWS reporter Friday morning.
(edited by ZK)
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