A 73-year-old woman living with disabilities and currently mourning the recent death of her daughter was unceremoniously evicted from her home of more than 30 years last Friday.
Acting on the instructions of a court order, police officers forcibly removed Onica Ramontsho from her home in Tlokweng’s Lenganeng ward – on the eve of her daughter’s burial and with mourners gathered together in the yard for the deceased’s memorial service.
Onica, who is diabetic and restricted to a wheelchair, had to sit by and watch in dismay as officers, with the bemused help of those gathered for the memorial service, collected the contents of her house and dumped them beside the road just outside the yard.
Pitched funeral tents were removed and the small gathering of people who had turned up to pay their respects to the deceased instructed to exit the yard.
Details behind the eviction are that Onica, who had been married for 30 years before her late husband left her for a younger woman in 2003, was embroiled in a dispute over the rights to the house with her ex-husband’s new wife, Kgarebe Lepotokise Ramonthso, 42.
Kgarebe allegedly sold the house without Onica’s knowledge or permission.
The new house owners, who had previously asked Onica to vacate the house on several occasions but to no avail, subsequently arrived with a court order on Friday, which stated that the old woman be evicted from the premises.
In a desperate attempt to stop the eviction from going ahead, so that they could at least complete the burial, the family summoned Tlokweng Chief, Olebile Gaborone, to intervene.
However, Gaborone’s pleas fell on death ears and the eviction went ahead.
Speaking to the Voice, a devastated Onica revealed the family had no option but to leave her daughter’s corpse at the funeral parlour.
“I will fetch my daughter’s body on Sunday and transport it to Ledumang cemetery,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sherriff Kebonye Kgosi Ntebele said he understood the family’s sad situation but was powerless to help.
“I am currently on duty, I have no choice but to evict the family,” he said.
The family moved some of their property to a new house, which is still under construction in Block 3, Gaborone.