Mmegi Online :: Evicted Jwaneng mall hawkers return
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Last Updated
Tuesday 21 February 2017, 15:35 pm.
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Evicted Jwaneng mall hawkers return

JWANENG: After a brief relocation, hawkers at Choppies Mall here returned sparking a fresh battle with the owners of the shopping complex.
By Lebogang Baingapi Tue 31 Jan 2017, 13:41 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Evicted Jwaneng mall hawkers return








The hawkers said they have decided to return to the front of the mall after being chased away from their new place, which was close to the First National Bank Botswana (FNBB).

“We agreed to move to an open space next to FNB and the manager came to complain that we have occupied his customer’s parking (lot). The fire department also came and told us to vacate the place because it is an assembly point in case of (a) fire.  We don’t have an option, but to return here because this is our sole means of survival,” one of the vendors, Dineo Gaofetoge who sells cosmetics and airtime, claimed.

Lorato Balefile who sells farm harvest and fruits acknowledged that the mall manager exhausted all the means of removing them peacefully.  She said there is nowhere they could go because Choppies Mall is the only prime area for business in Jwaneng.  She is also not impressed with the treatment amidst the reality of unemployment.

“We are always chased around and the past two weeks were tough because we had relocated to a space near FNBB. Most of our fruits and vegetables got rotten and we made losses.  We will continue to trade in the premises until a court order arrives and we will lodge an application in court for us to be heard as well.  In the

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meantime, we are not going anywhere,” one of the vegetable vendors who preferred anonymity said.

Last year the mall company represented by Thabiso Tafila, a partner in a law firm, issued the informal traders with eviction letters that bore an ultimatum stating “move out or else”, but they have since been reluctant to move until early this year. The mall manager, Fredrick Vilander was also furious and felt hard done by the informal traders’ behaviour. He said FNBB and JB Sports as tenants have already complained about the overcrowding of the said hawkers in front of their businesses.

He said JB Sports has threatened to write a letter of complaint and Vilander is promising to apply the law this time around.  Vilander said he is still sorting out some logistics with his attorneys to prepare an eviction order, as he is worried that the situation might jeopardise his relationship with his tenants.

“We engaged the police and the hawkers wrote affidavit letters last year promising that they will never sell in front of the premises. I have had enough of them and I am waiting for a legal eviction order through an attorney.  I don’t want the hawkers in my premises and I don’t care where they should go. As long as they are not in my space I am satisfied,” he vented.

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