Cope MPs eviction row settled

The two Congress of the People (Cope) members of Parliament (MPs) threatened with eviction from their parliamentary houses on Wednesday agreed to move to other official dwellings.

But in terms of an agreement made an order of the Cape High Court, Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge is to audit the allocation of housing in all three parliamentary villages in Cape Town.

The audit will include an analysis of the quality and size of houses allocated to each political party in each village.

Wednesday’s order, by Judge Patricia Goliath, followed a day-and-a-half of negotiations between legal teams of the minister and the MPs, Dennis Bloem and Bishop Lekoba Tolo.

Bloem said afterwards he and Tolo were “very pleased” at the outcome.

“I think we ... have come out winners,” he said.

In terms of the order he would move from his current four-bedroomed house in Pelican Park to a three-bedroomed unit in the same village.

He had originally been offered a two-bedroomed house, he said.

Tolo would move from Pelican Park to Acacia Park, but would get priority when a three-bedroomed unit became available in Pelican Park.

Their current homes, which they have occupied for over a decade, have been allocated to African National Congress MPs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

Bloem had claimed in an affidavit that the lion’s share of the most desirable three- and four-bedroomed units in the villages had been allocated to the ANC.

This had been done in a way “disproportionate to its representation in Parliament”.

He said on Wednesday he hoped the audit, due at the end of November, would result in a “global reallocation, affording all parties represented in Parliament their fair share of housing”.

Cope had claimed the two men were being victimised because they were members of the party.—Sapa


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