Ipid investigating woman’s ‘brutal eviction’ by Roodeport police

Kholeka Nkombi has been allegedly assaulted and unlawfully arrested by police who were trying to evict her in Northcliff, Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied

Kholeka Nkombi has been allegedly assaulted and unlawfully arrested by police who were trying to evict her in Northcliff, Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 21, 2024


A Johannesburg woman claims to have been left with injuries and unlawfully arrested in an incident of police brutality last week.

Ipid’s spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said they were aware of case, adding that it was reported to the directorate and investigators were investigating it.

Kholeka Nkombi said she was allegedly been assaulted by members of Roodepoort police station after they were invited to kick her out of her home in Northcliff.

She suffered severe head injuries, back, neck and pelvic bone injuries, in what she said was the second incident of assaulted and unlawful arrest by police in their attempts to evict her from her home.

Gauteng police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said a case of assault has been opened against police at the Florida police station.

“The case will be transferred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for further investigation. Police cannot confirm further on this case as it will be investigated by Ipid,” said Masondo.

Masondo added that Nkombi was arrested for contravention of a protection order, and is expected to appear before the Roodepoort Magistrate Court on Tuesday.

However, she was released without appearing in court.

Nkombi said she has been fighting for her house after Standard Bank illegally repossessed and auctioned it, after it was sold to new owners Venessa Naidoo and her husband Kooshen Naidoo in May 2021.

The 44-year-old mother of one claims the house was stolen, alleging that this was done in a corrupt manner.

However, according to the affidavits written by the businesswoman who runs a Communications Agency, she realised this when her house was suddenly hounded and lock-picked by private property buyers in May 2021. The buyers came and left messages.

She said after investigating this, she found that her home was listed and advertised online to be auctioned off in four days by the Roodepoort Sheriff’s Office.

She said she was then advised by one of the private buyers to call Standard Bank and request to sell her property through the bank’s Easy Sell Program in order to stop execution and manage the situation.

But, the bank told her that she must sign an agreement to sell her property to stop execution.

She said after further investigation and visiting the bank, she was notified that the bank had not issued an instruction to any sheriff to list her house for the execution of the sale. She was on step 2 of the six-step process before execution and had not been issued with Section 129.

Nkombi said she immediately told the Easy Sell department and the bank attorneys that she wished to cancel the sale and they both refused, saying she would be in breach of contract.

“My attorneys and I have since identified that I would not have been in breach, and in fact, they (Standard Bank) would and are in breach,” she said.

She said also requested the bank attorneys and the Estate Agent to notify the prospective buyers that there would be no immediate occupation because she was disputing the sale, but that was not done.

“They seemed determined to keep the prospective buyers away from me, until November 12, 2021, when the registration had gone through (on November 11, 2021) and the buyers wanted to meet with me.

“The Estate Agent was present, and to my horror they switched sides and created an impression of me hogging the property and not wanting to let go, even though she was well aware of the dispute,” said Nkombi, adding that she also received communication from Naidoo’s attorneys to vacate within five days while Standard Bank offered her “however much she needed” to vacate.

“When I asked why this sudden rush to assist me with money to move, and the conditions thereon, I was told it was an act of ‘goodwill’. Upon requesting an official communication with the conditions and terms, I was notified that they could not provide me with that.”

Nkombi said she has been opposing the eviction application since January 2022, with hearings being rejected by the Registrar of Court.

This, according to the affidavits, happened until Naidoo’s family and friends attacked her and forced themselves into the house despite the matter remaining unresolved at the Gauteng High Court.

She said the Naidoos also attacked and broke the gate lock with two police officers from a Florida police station. Nkombi said the two presented themselves as officers from Sophiatown police station and she realised they were from Florida when she spotted their vehicle.

She said the family also disconnected electricity and installed solar power for themselves, leaving her in the dead of winter, with trauma. Nkombi opened a case of unlawful entry and malicious property damage and it is still unresolved.

On May 21, 2023, she was unlawfully arrested after the Naidoos forcibly moved in the house. She said on that day she visited a neighbour when she found the husband changing gate locks and the wife cooking in the kitchen. She said the wife allegedly assaulted her when she asked why she was using her kitchen. Nkombi said, as a result, she had to defend herself and the couple recorded her.

“A few hours later, at 21h00, five police officers and a detective came in and arrested me for grievous bodily harm – assault. I spent 48 hours in detention at the Florida Police Station and appeared on Tuesday, 23rd May 2023,’” said Nkombi who said the arrest was unlawful as police did not produce a warrant of arrest.

On Wednesday, Nkombi was allegedly assaulted and unlawfully arrested again, by members of the Roodepoort police station after they were invited by the Naidoos to forcibly remove her from her home.

However, the reasons behind her arrest are still not clear. It has been alleged that police were also carrying machine guns on that night.

Standard Bank, in explaining the situation, said Nkombi did sell her property utilising the EasySell Platform, but, they said, they did not illegally repossess it nor was it sold at auction.

“Ms Nkombi voluntarily elected to utilise the EasySell Platform to sell her property. A sale agreement was entered into by Ms Nkombi with Mr and Mrs Naidoo (the purchasers) on terms agreed to between the aforementioned parties. Standard Bank did not coerce Ms Nkombi or any other party to enter into the sale agreement.

“Standard Bank does not have record of Ms Nkombi’s advice that she no longer wished to continue with the process utilising the EasySell Platform. If Ms Nkombi had not voluntarily sold her property to the purchasers and if she was unable to satisfy the debt due to Standard Bank, Standard Bank may have had no other option but to continue with legal proceedings which would have resulted in Ms Nkombi’s property being sold at a sale in execution by the Sheriff of the court,” the bank said.

When contacted, the Naidoo family said Nkombi had attempted to move an elderly man to move into the property without their consent, so they went to the police for assistance to remove the trespassing man.

“After proving ownership the police accompanied us to the property and requested the man to vacate. Ms Nkombi, started screaming and arguing with the police…and called Mrs Naidoo ‘a bitch’ and hurled racial slurs at Mrs Naidoo as she is a white woman.

“Nkombi then assaulted the female police officer,” the couple said in response to Sunday Independent, adding that the police chose then to arrest Nkombi. There was, they said, a final protection order against Nkombi, prohibiting her from harassing, intimidating, verbally or physically abusing Mrs Naidoo (Case no. 634/2023).

“In June 2021 Nkombi and her mother voluntarily applied to sell the property via Standard Bank’s Easy Sell programme and we signed an offer to purchase, which Nkombi and her mother accepted by countersigning in July,” the Naidoo family said.

A few months later the property was registered and transferred to the Naidoos and, they claimed, they had the documents to prove it. This was until November 10 when Nkombi requested an extension of time to vacate, but since then she has been unlawfully occupying the property.

Nkombi filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for Banking Services South Africa against Standard Bank, disputing the calculation of the proceeds of the sale and the alleged non-disclosure of financial statements, but; “On 15 March 2022, the Ombud ruled against Ms Nkombi.”

“We are the lawful owners and Ms Nkombi is trying every avenue to prevent her eviction. Kindly note that our rights remain strictly reserved,” they said.

The Real Democracy Foundation has stepped in, and they say they are concerned about Nkombi’s human rights violation and will take the action against the bank, sheriff and the Estate Agent because she was given false information.

“Hornets Forensic investigation is handling the matter regarding the unlawful invasion, the bank’s easy sale and the purported court orders. Real Democracy is going to act on the human rights violations and police brutality,” secretary and activist Shamilla Pather.

Standard Bank added that the Naidoos appeared to be of the view that they concluded a valid and binding sale agreement, giving effect to the transfer and registration of the property into their name.

“They have accordingly instituted legal proceedings against Ms Nkombi due to her failing to provide the purchasers vacant occupation of the property. Standard Bank cannot comment on any criminal proceedings instituted by the purchasers against Ms Nkombi,” said Standard Bank, adding that as the the matter was subject to ongoing legal proceedings, the parties should allow for this process to be concluded.

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