The Davids family finally received their land in Lotus River as part of the City of Cape Town’s restitution process. It’s been fifty years since the Davids family was dispossessed of their land which was taken from the late Doud and Garaniesa Davids, under the apartheid regime. On Tuesday, the City of Cape Town handed them back their 4 hectare property which is valued at R1.8 million.
The eldest of the eight children, Asa Davids, fought through tears as she explained of their struggles and promise to her dying mother.
“It was through my mother’s efforts that we are here today. We just wish that she could have reaped the benefits of her hard labour. As she laid on her death bed, she asked that we continue on this path to finally get our family’s land back. We thank God for granting my late mother her wish,” Asa said.
The eight siblings, one of whom is deceased, followed through with their land claim for over a decade long.
However, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille says the family lived in a corrugated iron structure with their eight children, to watch over the land for the duration of fifty years.
“I am proud to be here today to be able to give this land back to its rightful owners,” De Lille continued.
However, De Lille explained that the city is not in control of the restitution process which is run by the regional lands claim offices but in this special case, the land in question was “owned” by the city.
“This land is not really ours and therefore we have become involved in this restitution. I will be handing the land back to six families in months to come. I want to help these families before they pass.”
A close relative to the family, Moegamat Amien Apples said the Davids family made a living from hawking. According to Apples, the lives of both Doud, his wife and children were filled with hardships since their land was taken away. Apples could no longer hold back his tears as he shared his hopes for other families, in the same situation as Davids, to have returned what is rightfully theirs. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)