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WATCH: Family resorts to court to evict tenant from R10m Hout Bay mansion

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The magistrate interdicted the Vollmer family from interfering with Mitchell while he occupied the property until eviction proceedings take place next year.

A R10 million mansion is at the centre of a civil court case after a black family purchased the home in September but was invaded by what they claim an illegal squatter. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town – A black family who bought a R10 million mansion in upmarket Hout Bay is struggling to evict a white tenant who has been residing on the property before the previous owner sold it, resulting in a court battle to force him out.

Emilia Vollmer and her 11 family members said they were at their wits’ end after spending R200 000 in legal fees trying to remove Adrian Mitchell who had been staying on the property with the previous owners.

Vollmer said: “We took ownership of the home in September and then we started immediately with the eviction. He was already meant to leave but because he knew the owners were deceased, nobody could force him to leave.

“When we took over the property, we told him to vacate the property and he said he would.”

Emilia Vollmer and her 11 family members said they were at their wits’ end after spending R200 000 in legal fees trying to remove Adrian Mitchell. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

Mitchell has been a tenant of the property since June last year. According to court papers, he said he had ongoing legal disputes with his previous landlord regarding the property.

He was forced out of the property on Sunday by the family.

“We have maintained that it was not our intention to evict anyone. We offered him a cottage which is just 15m away from our home and he can stay in the property until we can legally evict him.

“We were asked to leave our property because moving him from the house to the cottage is considered an illegal eviction, although we argued in court today (yesterday) that the cottage is part of the property,” said Vollmer.

One of Emilia Vollmer’s relatives, Phurah Jack, in the doorway of the Hout Bay house the family bought for R10 million. They are struggling to evict tenant Adrian Mitchell. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
“We were asked to leave our property because moving him from the house to the cottage is considered an illegal eviction,” said Vollmer. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency
“We were asked to leave our property because moving him from the house to the cottage is considered an illegal eviction,” said Vollmer. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

An interim court interdict was granted by the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The magistrate interdicted the Vollmer family from interfering with Mitchell while he occupied the property until eviction proceedings take place next year.

Vollmer said the family felt that the system had not taken their case into consideration.

“The legal system has failed us as a family and as landowners; we have been discriminated against,” she said.

In his affidavit, Mitchell stated: “The respondent (Vollmer) disrupted my possession of the property on Saturday by invading the property and usurping control of the premises in a hostile and aggressive manner, ultimately dispossessing me of control of the property by forcing me to vacate under threat.”

Adrian Mitchell who had been staying on the property. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency

The property is around 3 000m² in size and consists of a sauna, pool, cottage house and natural spring. The Sheriff arrived and told the family yesterday to vacate the property.

A confrontation between Mitchell and Vollmer and her family ensued after Mitchell showed up and started filming the confrontation. The Cape Argus asked him about the allegations but he refused to answer.

“My lawyer has instructed me not to talk to anyone so I have no comment,” he said. He then told the Cape Argus to vacate the premises and threatened to call the police.

Hout Bay ward councillor Roberto Quintas said he was aware of the matter.

“I was made aware on Saturday afternoon of a situation in Hout Bay which is a civil matter between a homeowner and tenant… the courts have already ruled in favour of the tenant. The City cannot intervene but will assist if need be.”

Cape Argus