News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
2 Nov 2018
6:35 am

Court rules on churches’ land battle

Ilse de Lange

The Tshwane municipality donated the land to LGM early in 2014 and it was registered in their name in 2016.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Twitter

The High Court in Pretoria has given a church until just after Christmas to vacate a former dumping site in Mamelodi, after another church asked the court to evict them.

Acting Judge Kwena Manamela ruled this week that Living God Ministries (LGM) was the rightful owner of the Mamelodi East property and that the True Gospel Church (TGC), which has occupied the site since 2010, had no right to be there.

The judge ordered the TGC and its members to leave by December 28, failing which the sheriff was authorised to evict them and, if necessary, to call in the police for help.

The Tshwane municipality donated the land to LGM early in 2014 and it was registered in their name in 2016. But TGC refused to budge. LGM said they were liable for the rates and taxes amounting to over R26 000 and TGC did not pay rent or for water used.

TGC opposed the eviction application, claiming it had applied for a site to build a church first and had started holding services and opened a creche in 2010 on the site while waiting for the municipality to make a decision, as was customary in Mamelodi.

TGC launched a counter application to remain on the site, but Manamela said it was without merit. TGC might have an axe to grind with the municipality, but that did not detract from LGM’s valid ownership, she added

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