Upithe defies notice to vacate Okahandja land

04 Jul 2017 18:00pm
By Mulisa Simiyasa
OKAHANDJA, 04 JUL (NAMPA) – Okahandja Municipality Deputy Mayor, Sophia Upithe is openly defying an official notice to remove her illegal structure at Five Rand informal settlement where she lives with her family.
On Tuesday, Nampa visited Five Rand and found the structure of Upithe intact.
It is alleged she grabbed the land and moved there before she became a local authority councillor in December 2015.
Upithe on Tuesday refused to comment on the issue and told Nampa to leave her alone.
“Is it you again, please can you stop that thing, asseblief tog,” she said angrily.
Okahandja Town Mayor, Johannes Congo Hindjou on 14 June confirmed in a telephonic interview that his deputy (Upithe) is among people occupying the municipal land illegally.
“We made this discovery recently and we told her several times to remove her structure. It is illegal,” said Hindjou, adding Upithe keeps promising to remove it.
Hindjou said on 31 May that eviction notices were issued and distributed to all illegal settlers at different informal settlements around Okahandja, including to Upithe.
The notices seen by Nampa state that all illegal settlers on the Okahandja Municipality land should vacate immediately or before 30 June.
“Failure to do that, the council will be left with no other option but to take action.”
The notices do not specify the type of action to be taken against the nearly 1 000 illegal settlers around the town.
Some illegal settlers of Five Rand on Tuesday told Nampa the town council should remove the deputy mayor’s (Upithe) structure before talking to them about the issue.
Andreas Heita Petrus said the council should not tell him anything if it fails to deal with Upithe.
“People will not move out. The councillors should start with their colleague and then we will move to any place they identify for us,” he said.
Rachel Tally, 44, said she will not move if the council is unable to take action against Upithe, who found her there long before 2014.
Shevelia Shikongo, 36, asked where she will take her five children if she moves off the piece of land she calls home.
“They must first show us a place to go and then I will move there with my children. We are a big family now, we cannot afford rent,” Shikongo said.